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GOP lawmaker praises Kyle Rittenhouse's 'restraint' for not emptying magazine during shooting

Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieHouse conservatives plot to oust Liz Cheney GOP lawmaker on Capitol protesters: 'I will not be deterred' by 'mob demand' Questions and answers about the Electoral College challenges MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday praised 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with homicide in the shooting deaths of two men in Kenosha, Wis., for showing "incredible restraint."

Rittenhouse did so, Massie said on a radio show hosted by Tom Roten, by not firing all the rounds in his semi-automatic rifle during the incident on Aug. 27.

A local NBC affiliate reported on the remarks by the conservative lawmaker, who earlier this year was called out by President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE when he sought to delay a vote on the CARES Act legislation approved by Congress in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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“He also exhibited incredible restraint and presence and situational awareness,” Massie reportedly said. “He didn’t empty a magazine into a crowd. There were people around him who could have caused him harm, but as soon as they showed any sign of retreat or nonaggression, he did not shoot them. He exhibited more restraint than a lot of the police videos I’ve seen.”

Massie went on to say there needs to be a review of the Jacob Blake shooting, which sparked the protests in the city.

“It needs to be reviewed, everybody gets a trial,” he said. “Frankly, I am not as aware of that situation as of the Rittenhouse situation.”

Video of Blake's shooting has circulated widely.
 
Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer who trailed him to an SUV with his weapon drawn. The shots were fired after Blake opened the door to the SUV. Three of Blake's children were in the vehicle. 
 
The video has sparked nightly protests in Kenosha.

Police say Rittenhouse shot and killed Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum and wounded a third man on the third night of protests. The teen clashed with protesters for an unknown reason. Rosenbaum had reportedly thrown a plastic bag at Rittenhouse before he was shot and killed. 

A journalist at the scene told investigators Huber was part of a group of people who then followed Rittenhouse trying to stop him. Huber reached for Rittenhouse’s gun and hit him with his skateboard before Rittenhouse allegedly shot him. 

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Last week, prosecutors in Wisconsin charged Rittenhouse with one count each of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide as well as two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment. 

Massie said Thursday that Huber was trying to "attack" Rittenhouse and the teen "responded in self-defense."

“I would not convict him of a single one of these charges,” Massie said.