A man who was shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse one night in Kenosha, Wisconsin was “lunging” for the teen’s gun when he was killed, a witness recalled Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
The testimony from journalist Richie McGinniss shed some light on the murky details of Rittenhouse’s fatal encounter with Joseph Rosenbaum at a car dealership.
Rittenhouse, then 17, was in Kenosha protecting property from rioters in August 2020 when he encountered Rosenbaum in a mob near the car dealership.
“He was lunging”
According to the AP, the prosecution has emphasized that Rittenhouse was “the only person who killed anyone” during a night of widespread violence, but the defense argues that Rittenhouse acted in self defense and that Rosenbaum is the one who “lit the fuse.”
Much of the trial has focused on the moment when Rittenhouse shot and killed Rosenbaum, which was not fully captured on video, the AP notes.
McGinniss, a journalist for the Daily Caller, said he remembers Rosenbaum shouting “f*** you” and reaching for Rittenhouse’s gun. “I think it was very clear to me that he was reaching specifically for the weapon,” McGinniss said. “He was lunging, falling. I would use those as synonymous terms in this situation because basically, you know, he threw his momentum towards the weapon.”
Moments before Rittenhouse pulled the trigger, another person, Josuha Ziminski, reportedly fired a shot into the air as Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse in the parking lot, leading the teen to fear for his life, his lawyers say.
Rittenhouse was the target of a “classic ambush,” defense attorney Mark Richards said Wednesday, according to the AP. He pointed to an FBI surveillance video shot from 9,000 feet, which appeared to show Rosenbaum come out from a hiding spot behind a car.
During cross-examination, detective Martin Howard agreed that Rittenhouse was shouting “friendly!” as Rosenbaum chased him and that Rosenbaum had been in “hiding.”
Facing life in prison
After shooting Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse headed down Sheridan Street toward police and was chased by the mob, which attacked him.
Rittenhouse fatally shot Anthony Huber, who reportedly assaulted Rittenhouse with his skateboard and reached for his gun, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who was approaching Rittenhouse armed with a handgun.
According to Fox News, the judge in the case has criticized the “sloppy” and “biased” news coverage, which has been largely hostile to Rittenhouse. The defendant is facing life in prison.