After six days of evidence and witness testimony, prosecutors rested their case on Tuesday against Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who shot three men, killing two and wounding another, during violent protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.
The prosecution concluded its argument by showing drone footage of Rittenhouse allegedly shooting one of the men, Joseph Rosenbaum, in a used car lot in downtown Kenosha.
The drone video, enhanced by the Wisconsin State Crime Lab, shows Rosenbaum appearing to chase Rittenhouse into the car lot before Rittenhouse turns around and fires the rifle he was carrying from close range. Kenosha Police Detective Martin Howard previously testified that Rosenbaum continued to chase Rittenhouse even after he repeatedly told Rosenbaum that he was “friendly.” Howard testified that the calls did not stop Rosenbaum from pursuing Rittenhouse before he was shot. Rosenbaum died from his injuries.
The footage then shows Rittenhouse running away from the lot. Additional cameras captured images of Rittenhouse running down a street, being chased by a crowd after allegedly shooting Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse fell to the ground, where one individual leaped at him, trying to kick him in the head, and another, Anthony Huber, struck Rittenhouse with a skateboard and allegedly reached for Rittenhouse’s rifle. Rittenhouse then shot Huber, killing him.
Another man, Gaige Grosskreutz, approached Rittenhouse with a loaded handgun in his hand. He threw up his hands as if surrendering but then advanced with the gun pointed at Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse fired, severely injuring Grosskreutz’s left bicep. Prosecution witness Jason Lakowski testified that he administered first aid to Grosskreutz. He also said that he emptied the magazine from the gun and emptied the chamber, which he observed had a round loaded in it. Grosskreutz himself testified that it was only after he pointed the gun at Rittenhouse that he fired the shot which injured him.
Deputy Milwaukee County Medical Examiner Dr. Douglas Kelley was the last witness the prosecution called.
Kelley, who performed the autopsies on Rosenbaum and Huber, testified that Rosenbaum was shot in the hand, thigh, groin, head, and back. The fatal shot entered his back as he was falling forward. Huber was killed by a single bullet to the chest that mortally wounded his heart and lungs. According to ABC News, “As graphic autopsy photos were shown, pool reporters in court described Rittenhouse as appearing to intentionally look away from the monitors.”
The defense began presenting its case later in the day. Their first witness, Nick Smith, was a former employee of the used car dealership where Rittenhouse and other armed men were guarding. He testified that the dealership owner called him and asked him to help put out fires in the lot and recruit a group of people to protect the dealership, which had two other car lots in the area. Smith also said that Rittenhouse lent him body armor and guarded the car lot, and that Rittenhouse spoke with him after he shot the three men, telling him repeatedly, “I just shot someone. I had to shoot someone.”
Rittenhouse is charged with five felonies and one misdemeanor, including two counts of recklessly endangering safety, two counts of intentional homicide, and one count of reckless homicide. A violation of curfew charge was dropped by the trial judge Tuesday.
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