“I got my two hundred dollars from unemployment from a coronavirus in Illinois because I was employed by the YMCA. And I got my first unemployment check, so I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to use this to buy it,'” Rittenhouse told a Washington Post, published Thursday.
The 17-year-old Rittenhouse allegedly killed Anthony M. Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum and wounded Gage Grossroitz during a protest over a police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse friend Dominic Black, who is charged with two counts of intentionally giving a dangerous weapon to a person under the age of 18 that caused the death, claims to have bought and stored the alleged weapon for killing Rittenhouse.
According to the Post, Rittenhouse’s lawyers agreed to the interview in prison on the condition that Rittenhouse not be asked about the shooting or the events that followed. Rittenhouse’s lawyers claim that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he opened fire.
What led to the shooting
Rittenhouse told the Post Office that he went to Kenosha on August 24 for his job as a lifeguard. He told the Post he left work at 8pm and went to Black’s stepfather’s house, where he, one of his sisters and Black spent the evening watching streams of lively chaos erupt in the center, he said. his sister in front of the Post.
His sister said Rittenhouse supported peaceful demonstrations, but objected to the violence and called the protesters “monsters”.
Social media accounts believed to belong to him portray a young white man with an affinity for guns who supports “Blue Lives Matters” and President Donald Trump.
According to the Post, the next night, as the protests continued, Rittenhouse and Black armed themselves and went downtown to help a friend defend a used car dealership and provide medical care to people with minor injuries.
“I was going to a place where people had guns and God forbid someone brought me a gun and decided to shoot me. I wanted to be protected, which I had to defend myself in the end,” Rittenhouse told the Post Office.
Rittenhouse told the Post he was not part of any militia groups, but joined other armed men and women he called “strangers” who were also present to protect the property.
“No one was inciting me and I was not inciting anyone else. Everyone was calm with me and everyone was happy. Like, I was helping everyone. So what I noticed was, if you show people respect, they will show you respect in return, “Rittenhouse said.
Rittenhouse finds himself at a gas station when he hears messages about burning cars, then grabs a fire extinguisher and starts running down the street, the Post reports.
Rittenhouse allegedly fled the scene of the shooting and was chased by protesters, the complaint said. Huber approached Rittenhouse after tripping and falling. A brawl ensued and Rittenhouse claimed to have shot Huber once, the complaint said.
After firing at Huber, Rittenhouse shot Grossroitz in the right hand, according to the complaint.
Rittenhouse managed to leave the set still armed as he approached the police with his hands up, Kenosha police chief Daniel Miskin said at the time.
Rittenhouse does not regret having a gun that night
Rittenhouse’s mother revealed the shaken condition of Rittenhouse when she arrived at Black’s house to pick him up.
“I saw Kyle, he was pale, white, shivering, crying. We left, it was just Kyle and me. We walked around and um, we went to the police station,” Wendy Rittenhouse told the Post Office.
Asked by the Post if he regretted having a gun tonight, he said no.
“No, I’m not sorry. I feel I had to protect myself. I would have died tonight if I hadn’t,” he said.
CNN turned to Grosskreutz’s lawyer, who called Rittenhouse’s allegations of using money for incentives to buy a gun “disturbing” and “rude.”
Rittenhouse faces two counts of murder and a felony of attempted murder in the shooting. He is also accused of possessing a dangerous weapon by a person under the age of 18, which is a violation.
Sarah Sidner and Faith Karimi of CNN contributed to this report.