Rittenhouse breaks down in sobs on stand
Kyle Rittenhouse broke down on Wednesday as he described getting cornered by the first person he killed during protests in Kenosha, Wis., last August.
Rittenhouse is on trial for multiple felonies for killing two people and wounding another during protests that erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man.
On Wednesday morning, Rittenhouse took the stand to describe the events that led up to him shooting — and ultimately killing — Joseph Rosenbaum, the first person who was killed.
During his testimony, Rittenhouse described being chased by Rosenbaum on his right side as he was heading to a car parking lot, and another protester, Joshua Ziminski, being in front of him.
“There were three people right there,” Rittenhouse said, breaking down in sobs.
The judge briefly put the trial on recess after Rittenhouse became emotional.
WATCH: The judge calls for a 10-minute break after Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down and begins to hyperventilate on the stand while describing the events leading up to the fatal August 2020 shooting. pic.twitter.com/2GACgCEdvc
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When the recess was over, Rittenhouse testified that Ziminski had instructed Rosenbaum to “get him and kill him.”
As the two were running, Rosenbaum threw a bag at Rittenhouse, Rittenhouse said. He said he turned and pointed his gun at Rosenbaum, which did not stop the other man.
Rittenhouse remembered that a gunshot was fired from behind him, and that’s when he turned around and saw Rosenbaum coming at him with his arms out. He said he remembered Rosenbaum’s hand “on the barrel of my gun.”
When asked what he did when Rosenbaum lunged at him, Rittenhouse said “I shoot him.”
Rittenhouse said he shot Rosenbaum about four times, after which he tried to get to police.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Rittenhouse said. “I defended myself.”
Tensions were high during Rittenhouse’s testimony, as he had not publicly spoken about the shooting until the trial. Judge Bruce Schroeder erupted multiple times at the prosecution.
Rittenhouse also described the events that led to the shooting of Anthony Huber, who also died that night.
As he was running to police after Rosenbaum was shot, Rittenhouse said Huber struck him in the neck with a skateboard, causing him to fall on the ground.
Rittenhouse said a lot of people began circling him while on the ground, but most of them moved away after he moved his rifle in their direction.
However, an unidentified person attempted to kick Rittenhouse in the face, causing him to shoot that person in the foot.
Huber then advanced towards Rittenhouse as he tried to get off the ground and struck him again with the skateboard. Rittenhouse said Huber grabbed his rifle, after which he fired one shot.
Under cross-examination from the prosecution, Rittenhouse said he did not intend to kill anyone that night. However, he contended that he used “deadly force.”
“I did what I had to do to stop the person who was attacking me,” he said. “Two of them passed away, but I stopped the threat from attacking me.”
Updated at 1:29 p.m.
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