Illinois Teen Shown in Viral ‘Self-Defense’ Video Charged with First-Degree Homicide

Kyle Rittenhouse has been charged with homicide. (Photo: Daily Caller/Screenshot)

A 17-year-old from Illinois has been charged with first-degree homicide after his involvement in two separate shootings Tuesday that left two people dead and one wounded at the Jacob Blake protests in Kenosha, Wi.

The Village of Antioch Police Department announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday that Kenosha authorities had charged Antioch resident Kyle Rittenhouse with the crime. He is in the custody of the Lake County Judicial System pending an extradition hearing to transfer custody from Illinois to Wisconsin.

Viral videos of both incidents rocketed around social media yesterday. In the first, a person who appears to be Rittenhouse carrying an AR-15 can be seen running away from a protester who throws something on fire at him.

Moments later, eight shots ring out, though it isn’t clear how many of them come from Rittenhouse’s rifle. At least some of the shots came from an unknown gunman who fired into the air, according to the New York Times. A man lies on the ground between two cars, and Rittenhouse circles around while speaking on the phone.

People can be heard yelling “Call 911! Get help!” Rittenhouse, still on the phone, runs from the scene and out of the frame.

Rittenhouse shot the man in the head, and he later died.

SEE ALSO: Sheriff Vows to Deputize Gun Owners to Protect Citizens from Rioters

In a video of the second incident, a crowd of people can be seen running after Rittenhouse, and someone asks, “What’d he do?” to which someone else responds, “He shot someone!”

Rittenhouse falls, and someone yells, “Get his ass!” while people converge and try to take his gun. One of them hits Rittenhouse with a skateboard, and the teen fires one shot at his attacker while lying on the ground. That man later died.

He sits up and fires another shot at a different person who comes towards him holding a handgun. The man was shot in the arm and lived.

The crowd disperses and several more shots ring out, though they do not appear to come from Rittenhouse’s gun.

The teen jogs down the street towards police vehicles and attempts to flag them down with his hands in the air. The vehicles drive past him, and it isn’t clear whether he was apprehended before the video ends.

SEE ALSO: Americans of All Races Take Up Arms to Defend Against Violent Rioters, Looters

Rittenhouse was interviewed by the Daily Caller just hours before the shootings occurred. He may have been in Kenosha as part of a militia group organized to protect local businesses, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

“People are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business,” he told the Daily Caller. “Part of my job is also to help people. If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle because I need to protect myself, obviously. But I also have my med kit.”

Rittenhouse was a supporter of the police, according to screenshots from his now-removed Facebook page. He at one point used a Blue Lives Matter frame for his profile page, and he was involved in a youth police cadet program.

Earlier that day, he was spotted with a group helping to clean graffiti off of a court house.

The protests in Kenosha were sparked by the police shooting last week of a black man named Jacob Blake. Blake was shot in the back seven times after resisting arrest, and a knife was found in his car, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 49 comments… add one }
  • Solo October 23, 2020, 9:34 am

    Kyle Was in a place that he should have not been. All this chatter on the web and in the comment sections, can fuel people young and old to do the same actions. Collect arms and drive accross state lines to defend what they belive as the constitution. Militia groups have balooned in size. People are prepping for what they belive is a 2nd American Civil War. Some even hoping for it. I think what people have a hard time understanding what we are seeing with the BLM movment, that this is just another civil rights movment. Americans just want justice, they are not our enemys.
    We had our first major civil rights movment after our civil war. Then we had another major one in the 60’s with L.B.J. and there were always people against these movments. Just like today.
    America has always been evolving for the greater good. As a Becon for the rest of the world.
    Then we have idiot celbs like Alex Jones, who add fuel to the fire, pushing false propaganda. And a President who spits it back out. Someone who also adds fuel to the fire. He has made the situation much worse. The police can not have a more value to their life than the citizen. They need to be held accountable for there actions. And be judjed the same as the citizen. And not judjed as someone special.
    And this President needs to understand how powerfull his words and message can be.
    The President has the power to stop the protest/riots, not be sending in the Troops or the Feds like he has been saying/attempting to do. Not by defunding the police, but have them held accountible for their actions.
    By assuring that All Americans will get Justice were justice is do. By having Federal councle investigate all homicides by police. By setting up National Standards on Police on how to defuse a situation. Proper schooling of officers. Weed out the bad ones and pay the good ones a healthy income. More Training and vetting is what our country needs.

    One Speach, One Bill, Can stop the burning of our citys.

  • GuruOfGuns August 31, 2020, 9:14 am

    I find it ironic that the same group that believes all borders should be eliminated are quick to shout that this young man took his rifle across State lines. The information I have seen indicates that he works as a life guard in Kenosha and that he borrowed the rifle from a friend, who lives in Kenosha, bringing it with him for protection while volunteering to help guard private property. So bottom line is even the argument that he brought a rifle across State lines is bogus. He also helped clean up graffiti and offered medical assistance earlier in the day.

  • Ray August 29, 2020, 8:22 pm

    Apparently all three he shot were convicted criminals. The first had served 10 years for sexual attack of minor and had multiple violent encounters in prison and was not compliant re sex registry. The last was in illegal possession of forearm. The three convicted criminals were not youngsters. The man shot by police had warrant out for him, was
    attempting to steal a car and had been previously arrested for crime with firearm. Lastly 17 year old was apparently better trained with firearm than officer. My father joined military at 16 and survived Pacific campaigns for the full length of war. Yes 17 year olds right wars and kill bad people for us.

  • Ketchum Kenny August 29, 2020, 1:04 pm

    Video evidence seems to support a self defense argument. Add to that the aggressors were convicted felons, one of whom was carrying a pistol. Local & national politics have unfortunately allowed lawless behavior to go unchecked and is the reason this got out of hand. Politicians need to untie the hands of the police so that law abiding citizens don’t feel they have to fill the void.

  • tanya funk August 28, 2020, 11:31 pm

    Kyle went on a hunting trip and bagged 3, and had the time of his life. He got exactly what he showed up for. He’s a murderer.

    • Kevin August 29, 2020, 12:59 pm

      He should be given a medal for killing communist scum. The only good communist is a dead communist.

    • Mike V August 30, 2020, 10:03 pm

      You must be talking about another Kyle. Read the article above and post your apology.

      • Vanilla bull September 2, 2020, 12:48 pm

        Give kyle 3 medals one for every shoy

  • My names Ricky & I'm a Douche bag August 28, 2020, 8:53 pm

    @ Ricky

    You are such a douche bag! I’ve read several of your comments and your just a troll on a website that you utterly disagree with. You probably support BLM & Antifa and are just a sad Douche bag.

    • Ricky B. August 29, 2020, 11:23 am

      Oh look, one of my biggest fans! Your affection for me is so touching it almost brings a tear to my eye…ha!

      Your assumptions about me here are just too simple though buddy. If you ever got the opportunity to check out the inside of my gun safe, it would be much more clear to you why I am on this website so frequently… The resulting envy you would feel would only make you hate me even more though. =)

      Have a nice weekend!

  • Richard August 28, 2020, 6:25 pm

    would like to shoot a few myself

  • Scott August 28, 2020, 3:49 pm

    In reply to sfvshooter:

    It is clear from your comments that you are unfamiliar with many of our legal concepts and constitutional rights.

    So let’s start with the obivious…several homocides occurred purportedly by Kyle Rittenhouse. In our country, you’re innocent until proven guilty. That’a a big one, try to remember it. A homocide is one human killing another. Not all homocides are crimes. One of our core legal concepts is that we are allowed to defend ourselves with deadly force. This goes back to mid-dark ages in English law, which American law is founded upon, and specifically the Third Fyrd. If Rittenhouse believed, that is the legal requirement – belief, that he was in fear of great bodily harm or death from an assailent, that is all the legal requirment needed to respond with deadly force. Having a molotov cocktail-type incindiary device throw at you meets both the bodily harm and death requirements. As long as the threat was still capable of continued action against Rittenhouse, he was a legal target of self-defence. In our legal system, once you use deadly force against another human like the molotov cocktail thrower did, Rittenhouse is under no legal obligation to ascertain whether that threat has other incindiary devices or weapons, there is an assumption in law that the threat remains.

    As to whether it was illegal to transport weapons from one state to another. The answer is no, it is not illegal. The only question I have of illegality is whether Rittenhouse may have been displaying his weapon in contravention of state law. However, that point is pretty much moot, given the level of violence in display in the enviroment Rittenhouse was in and his god-given, constitutionaly enshrined right to protect himself. Remember his stated purpose to being there was to help others, i.e. his medical kit on his person. He does not say he was there to harm people.

    His age is a non-factor. All humans, and most certainly all Americans have the right to protect themselves regardless of age. Unless your point was infer that people under the age of determination are obligated to let others kill them as they see fit. Most states allow for the ownership and possesion of weapons in people under the age of 18, so again Rittenhouse in all probablility broke no laws. However, when Rittenhouse came to the location of his actions, he became subject to the prevailing laws of minor gun possession of that juridiction.

    As to his parents being responsible for his actions…since his actions were self-defensive, his parents cannot be held accountable.

    Hope that helps you understand how rediculous your comments sound, unless your trying to entice other to join you in your fantasy world.

  • Dick McGick August 28, 2020, 3:41 pm

    Funny how so many of you only respect The Law when it applied to some people but not so much with others.

  • Roger August 28, 2020, 2:23 pm

    It appears to me he was running away and was tripped (?) falling to the ground. Not sure what the people chasing him had planned. If it had been me I don’t think I’d have wanted to find out. I wish he hadn’t killed them however I can understand why he defended himself. As for being 17 I don’t feel that has an awful lot to do with it. The military allows 17 year old people to join. (I did so and was in Vietnam at 17). As far as the shooting that caused this mess if you have a knife being pulled on you decide at that point if you want to run, defend yourself or build a campfire, roast marshmallows and sing “Kum-Bi-Ya” with the person trying to stab you.

  • jrcowboy49 August 28, 2020, 1:48 pm

    Agree

  • James R Erskine August 28, 2020, 1:44 pm

    Kyle currently has legal council and he will win because his shooting was in self defense.

  • Bobs your uncle August 28, 2020, 1:25 pm

    I watched the videos of both shooting incident/locations. I would guess the kid was targeted because he was seen as weak and inept, Ooops! hes chased down the street and is attacked by multiple assailants, he is struck from behind trips and falls and is then kicked by one guy and then is struck by another with a skateboard who then grabs the barrel of the kids rifle and pulls it toward himself with a predictable result, RIP The next guy steps up with what appears to be a semi-auto hand gun, he clearly does not know how to operate, his finger is on the trigger both before and after he is shot. It turns out that attacker is a prohibited person (felon) Where did he get his gun? where was it stolen? Watch the Kid and learn, he only fires at real immediate threats, nothing more. Had that been me I like to think I would have been more generous with the lead.

  • sfvshooter August 28, 2020, 1:24 pm

    LOL at armchair attorneys claiming self-defense.

    A minor (17 year old) killed 3 people. He wasn’t defending his home, but instead took a rifle from his home and went to another state. AND He KILLED 3 PEOPLE.

    Where were his parents? Are they going to be held accountable as well since he’s a minor?

    I don’t know the firearms laws in WI & IL, but if a minor commits a crime with a firearm, aren’t the parents held accountable since they should’ve made sure the minor couldn’t access it?

    • Kane August 31, 2020, 7:45 pm

      What legalese, sfvshooter, can you offer on the killing of Aaron J. Danielson?

      “killed 3 people.”? You did NOT even get past the first sentence.

  • Bryan August 28, 2020, 1:08 pm

    …don’t you have a rock or a brick you need to be throwing somewhere…

  • Bryan August 28, 2020, 1:04 pm

    …very well said Sir…

  • Ken August 28, 2020, 12:07 pm

    I agree. The kid had good intentions and was idealistic, seeing everything in black and white as we all did at that age, and fantasizing himself as a medic and defender. Yes, 17 y/o kids are serving in the military, but they are first disciplined and trained, including the rules of engagement. This kid “went to a fight, looking for a fight.” What kind of parent would allow an untrained, immature 17 y/o child to go to a violent riot, armed or not? He should have been home, doing his homework, playing a video game or playing with himself like other kids his age. The mother must have s**t for brains and local rumors (I live nearby) are saying she drove him there! I have no sympathy for rioters and looters, but this was a tragedy all around and it did a lot of collateral damage.

  • Allen August 28, 2020, 12:04 pm

    So you’ll wait to be shot or cut before you fire? Doubt it. Why do cops need to wait to be shot or cut before they defend themselves or others? Were you there looking into the car when the guy obviously leaned in like he was grabbing something? Nope you weren’t there. It’s so easy to put ROEs on others because it’s not your ass on the line.

  • Ricky B. August 28, 2020, 11:09 am

    @ David O’Neal

    When you encourage the type behavior that turned young Kyle into a 17 year old serial killer, you are encouraging other young Americans to end up just like Kyle… Is that really what you want to happen?

  • Ricky B. August 28, 2020, 10:58 am

    @ Thomas Donohue

    Rhetoric like the comment you left here is what encouraged this young man to destroy his entire life. Kyle Rittenhouse is now a 17 year serial killer because he internalized too much of your specific style of verbal diarrhea on social media before he was equipped with the reasoning capacity to differentiate between hyperbole and reality.

  • Damon August 28, 2020, 10:43 am

    Dave, sir, I joined the US Army to fight communism at the age of 16 and shipped out at 17 years old. It’s a very normal and natural thing to do. I understand our society has become infantilized in the last 10-15 years and you may not be used to this very normal human phenomenon of young men getting fighting in armed conflict. I’m proud of Kyle for fighting communism/terrorist/anarchy when the rest of our society is allowing it to fester, when it’s our responsibility as citizens to defend and protect the constitution. As a retired special operations soldier it is my opinion that Kyle is obviously trained to a sufficient level to perform this mission, by his target discrimination, and tactical firearms capability. Kyle is a national hero. I do worry that he’ll need some help getting through this.

  • Jack OBrien August 28, 2020, 10:03 am

    Kyle Rittenhouse now has big name defenders !!

    “One of those names is L. Lin Wood, the renowned attorney made famous first for defending media-smeared security guard Richard Jewell and then later for helping media-smeared former Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann win a defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post.
    In tweets posted Thursday morning, Wood said his colleagues have assembled a legal team to defend Rittenhouse and also revealed that conservative commentator Michelle Malkin will be “assisting.”

    (These two powerhouses will stop the kangaroo court that is being planned by the commies WE-THE-PEOPLE are fighting) !!!

  • Jack OBrien August 28, 2020, 9:54 am

    Agree

  • Jack OBrien August 28, 2020, 9:53 am

    No he was not, go look it up and present us evidence of your unfounded statement. Smfh.

  • Jack OBrien August 28, 2020, 9:48 am

    Self defense period, the scumbag he first shot was chasing him with some type of flammable device that was thrown at him. He fired a warning shot and the bald headed tough guy kept coming, the scumbag antifa bastard got what he deserved. Then he was on the phone with someone who advised him to go to the police which he did by running to them. He was attacked from behind by skateboard douchebag hitting him in the head while he lay on the ground after being knocked down by another antifa scumbag. Then, another antifa scumbag takes aim at this kid and he fires and hits the scumbag in the arm, game over for that antifa punk to. This kid didn’t fire wildly he fired at targets that were a direct threat to his life. He shoukd be awarded an enemy marksmanship medal and i will donate to a GoFundMe page for his defense. Keep in mind the antifa scumbags were also from out of state, this kid was there with his Three Percent group to protect property and treat the injured. He has more balls than most of you people condeming him. Antifa and blm scumbags are going to be met and defeated by Patriots who have had enough of their bullshit of rioting and burning down cities. If you’re an anti American antifa or blm scumbag reading this, you’ve been warned, keep your shit up and the next “peaceful protest” you go to might be your last. Three Percenters are done with your shit. I find it funny to hear the scumbags yelling Medic, what medic. Military veterans that have bern in combat are going to confront your asses and you have no chance against these combat vets with your umbrellas and plywood shields, they dont stop 5.56 or 7.62. And those bitch females with the loud pie holes should have their teeth knocked down their throats just like the male scumbag antia and blm assholes. This is a war your not capable of winning little boys and girls, take your umbrellas and go back to your mommies basements and stay alive. Looking forward to you scumbags coming to my neighborhood, we are Trump country Patriots here, and your riots will be ended very quickly with your carcasses stacked like cord wood. Good job Kyle Rittenhouse you will be exonerated in a court of law and if not President Trump will pardon you.

  • Dave Lemay August 28, 2020, 9:07 am

    In reality, a 17 year old does not have a fully developed brain and is not capable of making decisions of this magnitude. He should not be out on the streets with a gun hanging from his neck and he should be at home, instead of at any protests. I feel sad for all that he will learn the hard way. Same goes for those too stupid to stay away from a man wielding a deadly weapon. When you are attacked, you then have a right to self defense and the morons who got shot, should have expected that but likely, they were too young for clear thought, as well. Parents, get your act together and start teaching your kids about life and maybe less of this sort of thing will happen.

  • RJ August 28, 2020, 8:50 am

    You do know the 17yo was already breaking the law right by openly carrying a weapon under aged? So he already broke the law before he even arrived there. AND his mama helped him, so she should be arrested as an accessory. I mean, you want the other people there to follow the law right? That also includes him.

  • Bob August 28, 2020, 8:46 am

    Listen pal, you need to go back to grade school and take some grammar courses. Your writing capabilities are horrible as are your spelling skills. You are obviously a racist person based upon your comments. All people need to do is obey the Officer’s commands instead of disregarding and attempting to retrieve their weapon from the car. That Police shooting is justified!! Have a nice day!!

  • Dr Motown August 28, 2020, 8:43 am

    The “black dude in broad daylight” was armed with a knife….it’s quite visible in certain camera angles if you just bother to do a little research

  • David O'Neal August 28, 2020, 8:20 am

    So my question, what are we as gun owners doing to come to Kyle Rittenhouse’s aid? We know the NRA won’t step up, are one of the other 2A groups going to start a Go Fund Me for his legal defense? This is what we need to do as those who believe he was acting in self defense need to do, back him, not sit on the sidelines or Monday morning quarterback the situation.

  • Chief August 28, 2020, 7:43 am

    I say, “you’re illiterate”.

  • Thomas Donohue August 28, 2020, 7:36 am

    I think the kid was doing the job us men should be doing .I also believe the the government from the top down has failed us for so long that the system as a hole is broken beyond repair by any peaceful means .
    To many brainwashed fanatical’s being turned out daily by our own education system .
    They are well backed by the media ,politicians and outside sources
    Socialist are openly trying to destroy our country and we do nothing .This kid stands up and you criticize .
    In all honesty we should be shooting them every place they show up minus the self surrender .

  • Bones August 28, 2020, 7:24 am

    This dumb kid probably just ruined his life trying to be a wanna be tough guy on amateur nite. He had no reason at all to be there with a weapon . He was looking for trouble. He got it. Be samrt stat home protect YOUR family and property , not someone elses. This is EXACTLY what you SHOULDNT do… it is amazing though a white kid at nite with an ar15 during chaotic rioting is let to walk by by cops…and a black dude in broad day lite with no apparent weapon is shot in the back 7 times….PROBABLY WHY THEYRE ROITING HUH?? I think cops rules of engagement need to change to what the militarys is… you cannot return fire UNTIL YOU ARE FIRED UPON!!!! What you panzis say??

    • Vanilla bull August 28, 2020, 8:44 pm

      Have a good day Richard!!

    • Vanilla bull August 29, 2020, 7:32 am

      LMFAO 😂🤣😂🤣😂.,…… See how that works in the hood. Cops would have to learn do drive by

    • Kane August 31, 2020, 6:49 pm

      Hey Bones, did ya know that Malvo and Mohammed were allowed to pass through a Police check point in the sedan with the hole in the trunk to shoot people and all the weapons they possessed. Ya know why? That was because the shooter(s) was erroneously racially profiled as a White Male. The “black duded” had an “apparent” weapon but the fake media will NOT tell the public the truth.

    • Kane August 31, 2020, 7:12 pm

      Below are the US ROE that are available online. ROE are fluid and can vary conflict to conflict and operation to operation. I doubt that the Navy Seals had any such constraints when bin Laden was targeted but “Bones” can maybe clarify that issue. Did NOT see the terms “Bones” provided. Of course. from a grammatical point of view no one can “return fire UNTIL YOU ARE FIRED UPON” The ROE provided is NOT based on “Rules of Land Warfare.

      A. You have the right to use force to defend yourself from attacks or threats of attack.

      B. Hostile fire may be returned effectively and promptly to stop a hostile act.

      C. When U.S. Forces are attacked by unarmed hostile elements, mobs, and/or rioters, U.S. Forces should use the minimum force necessary under the circumstances and proportional to the threat.

      D. You may not seize the property of others to accomplish your mission.

      E. Detention of civilians is authorized for security reasons or in self-defense.

      Remember
      The United States is not at War.

      Treat all persons with dignity and respect.

      Use minimum force to carry out mission.

      Always be prepared to act in self-defense.

    • Kane September 2, 2020, 12:12 am

      Still wondering “Bones” how many people did Barack Hussein Obama kill while violating the US ROE as described by yourself?

  • Murdock August 28, 2020, 6:57 am

    You sound like a domestic enemy of the constitution.

  • Murdock August 28, 2020, 6:56 am

    Kyle the Commie Slayer!

  • An1 August 28, 2020, 6:09 am

    He evacuated from the first scene because in the next few moments he would have been over run.

  • Mike V August 27, 2020, 6:22 pm

    Not a fan of a 17 year old participating in a loosely organized and likely poorly trained unit…

    However, of all the videos I’ve seen on socials, he acted in self defense on both occasions.

    The streets were quieter last night, wonder if reality sunk in for the rioters and looters?

  • Ricky B. August 27, 2020, 5:35 pm

    Yeah, this is a remarkably tragic story! This kid is fixing to learn some things about our criminal justice system in the most difficult way he possible could have… Important little details like the fact that you don’t get to claim “self defense” after going full-on Punisher style vigilante regardless of how “positive” I’m certain he believed his intentions were.

    Having made LOTS of extremely stupid decisions back when I was this kid’s age, it’s difficult for me to have anything but sympathy for him… I was extremely fortunate that none of the countless stupid decisions I made as a teenager resulted in anyone’s death. I was also extremely blessed to have a strong network of family, friends, neighbors, teachers, etc who always helped me turn my most significant mistakes into learning opportunities before it was too late for me… If this kids recent mistake means he is now technically a 17-year-old serial killer, it’s probably already too late for him.

    • Kane August 30, 2020, 9:26 pm

      I have read at least 3 posts under the name RickyB. that claims this Kyle Rittenhouse is a” serial killer.” I have seen no supporting evidence that KR belongs in that specific category. Right now he stands accused of 2 killings and maybe several other lesser charges but no other facts have been established. Several people have been killed including several PO during these “protests” and yet this instance draws out the rush to judgement.

      A gent was killed in Portland yesterday but the focus is almost exclusively on KR.

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