The National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR) has raised $50,000 for the Illinois teen, Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with fatally shooting two people at a protest in Kenosha, Wis., in August.
The conservative gun group based in Loveland, Colo., said Thursday it sent the funds to the 17-year-old Rittenhouse for "defending himself and business owners" during protests over the police shooting of 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake, USA Today reported.
"I spoke with Kyle's mother this morning to let her know NFGR received over a thousand donations amounting to over $50,000 from folks who support her son," NFGR Executive Director Dudley Brown said in a press release.
The release added that Rittenhouse's mother expressed gratitude for the donations, saying, "No words can describe what we're going through. Thank you so much — and I know Kyle and the rest of the family would say thank you too."
Last month, the group said it would raise money for Rittenhouse's legal fees, arguing the teen was within his right to allegedly open fire on protesters.
A press release from the group described Rittenhouse as a peaceful protester who was lawfully armed and attacked by "an angry mob of rioters, and tackled to the ground."
Rittenhouse faces six charges, including one for first-degree intentional homicide for the alleged shooting of three protesters, which resulted in two fatalities.
He also faces charges of first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety and one count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.
Footage taken by spectators the night of the shooting shows Rittenhouse using an AR-15-style rifle. After the shooting, he retreated toward nearby police cars as he held his hands up in apparent surrender but was not taken into custody.
He drove from his home in Antioch, Ill., following riots and protests in Kenosha that began Aug. 23 to defend property from unrest.