Documents filed Thursday in the Kenosha County Circuit Clerk’s Office provided additional details about the fatal shootings an Antioch teen is being charged with committing.
In a statement of probable cause, Assistant Kenosha County District Attorney Carli McNeill described the moments that were captured on cellphone video and later turned over to investigators. Officers also spoke with a witness who was just feet away during the first fatal shooting and another, whom the 17-year-old alleged gunman called immediately afterward, court records show.
On Thursday, the district attorney’s office filed a series of charges against Antioch teenager, Kyle Rittenhouse, in connection with the shootings. The most serious charge – first-degree intentional homicide – is punishable by life in prison.
Rittenhouse’s attorney, Lin Wood, said the teenager was acting in self-defense, according to The Associated Press.
Cellphone footage shows the shooter being chased into a used car lot by someone before shots are heard and the person lies dead. The shooter then runs down the street where he is chased by several people shouting that he just shot someone. He stumbles after being approached by several more people and fires, killing another man and injuring a third.
“From my standpoint, it’s important that the message be clear to other Americans who are attacked that there will be legal resources available in the event false charges are brought against them,” Wood said. “Americans should never be deterred from exercising their right of self-defense.”
The documents filed by McNeill identify the victims of the fatal shootings as Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. A third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, was injured.
An autopsy conducted by the Milwaukee Medical Examiner’s Office indicated Rosenbaum suffered multiple gunshot wounds, according to the probable cause statement.
One shot was fired into his right groin, fractured his pelvis. Another shot to Rosenbaum’s back perforated his right lung and liver. He also suffered a gunshot wound to his left hand, a superficial gunshot wound to his left thigh and a graze wound to the right side of his forehead, according to the narrative.
Huber’s autopsy revealed a gunshot wound to his chest that perforated his heart, aorta, pulmonary artery and right lung, according to the narrative.
On Wednesday, police spoke with the friend who Rittenhouse called at 11:46 p.m., just after the teenager shot Rosenbaum, court documents show. During the call, Rittenhouse said he shot someone, the friend told police, according to court documents.
The first shooting happened at
11:45 p.m. Tuesday at used car dealership in Kenosha. The victim, Rosenbaum, was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead at 12:47 a.m. Wednesday, McNeill wrote in the court filing.
As part of their investigation, police reviewed several cellphone videos. In the first video, a male, later identified as Rittenhouse, was seen running southwest across the dealership parking lot while holding a long gun. The weapon, later recovered by police was identified as a Smith & Wesson AR-15 style .223 rifle with a magazine capable of holding 30 rounds of ammunition, McNeill wrote.
The video continues, showing Rosenbaum is following Rittenhouse and trailing behind them both was a reporter, Richard McGinnis.
“The video shows that as they cross the parking lot, Rosenbaum appears to throw an object at the defendant,” McNeill wrote. “The object does not hit the defendant and a second video shows, based on where the object landed, that it was a plastic bag.”
Rosenbaum appeared to be unarmed for the duration of video, according to the probable cause narrative. A second video showed Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum move across the parking lot and approach the front of a parked black car. A loud bang rang out and a male voice shouted an expletive, as Rosenbaum appears to continue to approach the Rittenhouse. Rosenbaum grew closer, and four additional bangs went off just before Rosenbaum fell to the ground, McNeill wrote.
Rittenhouse circled behind the black car and approached Rosenbaum, who remained on the ground. Meanwhile, McGinnis removed his shirt and tried to render aid to Rosenbaum, court records show.
“The defendant appears to get on his cellphone and place a call. Another male approaches, and the defendant turns and begins to run away from the scene,” McNeill wrote. “As the defendant is running away, he can be heard saying on the phone, ‘I just killed somebody.’ ”
During a police interview, McGinnis said he had interviewed Rittenhouse before the shooting, according to court documents. The teen told McGinnis he was a trained medic, but the reporter told police Rittenhouse “was not handling the weapon very well.”
Initially, Rittenhouse and the reporter were walking south when another armed male who appeared to be in his 30s joined them and said he was there to protect the teenager, court records show.
As they continued to walk, Rosenbaum tried to get closer to Rittenhouse, McGinnis told police. When Rosenbaum grew near, Rittenhouse did a “juke” move and started running, seemingly trying to evade a group of people who were moving toward him, McNeill wrote.
Rittenhouse had his gun in “a low ready position” with the weapon raised and pointed downward by the time they approached the car. He then brought the gun up and fired multiple rounds, possibly three, in rapid succession, the reporter told police.
“McGinnis stated that the first round went into the ground and when the second shot went off, the defendant actually had the gun aimed at Rosenbaum. McGinnis stated he did not hear the two exchange any words,” McNeill wrote.
According to the reporter, Rosenbaum was reaching for the barrel of Rittenhouse’s gun, when the teenager pulled it away and raised the weapon.
“Right as they came together, the defendant fired,” McNeill wrote.
After the defendant shot, he ran back toward the hospital. McGinnis stayed and to continue to aid Rosenbaum and heard additional shots soon after, he told police, according to court records.
A third video showed Rittenhouse running north after he had shot Rosenbaum, records show.
“The street and the sidewalk are full of people,” McNeill wrote. “A group of several people begin running northbound on Sheridan Road behind the defendant. A person can be heard yelling what sounds like, ‘Beat him up!” Another person can be heard yelling what sounds like, ‘Hey, he shot him!’ ”
A male in a light-colored top then ran toward Rittenhouse and appeared to swing his right arm, hitting Rittenhouse in the face, records show.
“The defendant continues to run northbound. On the video a male can be heard saying something to the effect of, ‘What’d he do?’ ” according to the narrative. “Another male can be heard responding something to the effect of, ‘Just shot someone.’ ”
Shortly after, Rittenhouse tripped and fell to the ground, as an unidentified person jumped at and over him, according to court documents.
“Based on the sounds of gunshots on the video and the positioning of the defendant’s gun, it appears that he fires two shots in quick succession at this person. It appears that that person was not hit as he then runs away from the defendant,” McNeill wrote.
A second person, later identified as Huber, approached Rittenhouse while the teenager still was on the ground, and appeared to reach for Rittenhouse’s gun. As he did so, the skateboard in Huber’s hand made contact with Rittenhouse’s left shoulder, according to court documents.
“Huber appears to be trying to pull the gun away from the defendant. The defendant rolls towards his left side and as Huber appears to be trying to grab the gun, the gun is pointed at Huber’s body,” McNeill wrote.
Then one round being fire can be heard on the video, records show.
“Huber staggers away, taking several steps, then collapses to the ground,” McNeill wrote. “Huber subsequently died from this gunshot wound.”
After shooting Huber, Rittenhouse sat up and pointed his gun at a third person approaching him, McNeill wrote.
When the gun went off, another man who was standing nearby ducked and took a step back. The man, identified as Gaige Grosskreutz, put his hands in the air and moved toward Rittenhouse. The 17-year-old aimed his gun and fired a single shot into Grosskreutz’s right arm, according to court documents.
“Grosskreutz appears to be holding a handgun in his right hand when he was shot,” McNeill wrote. “Grosskreutz then runs southbound away from the defendant screaming for a medic and the defendant gets up and starts walking northbound.”
Rittenhouse turned to face southbound and walked backward with his rifle in “ready position,” pointed toward the people in the roadway, according to court documents.
He’s expected to make a court appearance Friday in Lake County, where he was being held Thursday evening.