Man cursed and rushed at Rittenhouse’s gun before teenager shot him – witness
KENOSHA, Wisconsin, Nov. 4 (Reuters) – A critical witness in the murder trial of American teenager Kyle Rittenhouse said Thursday that one of three men shot dead during protests in Wisconsin last year cursed and s ‘was rushed at the accused’s military-style rifle before he fired.
The testimony of Richie McGinniss, a reporter who was recording a video in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 25, 2020, when the shooting took place, could help strengthen the defense argument that the then 17-year-old Rittenhouse feared for his life.
Rittenhouse, 18, a resident of Antioch, Illinois, is charged with reckless and intentional homicides in the murder of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and attempted homicide for injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27 years old, with a bullet in his arm.
McGinniss – chief video director of the Daily Caller, a Tory website – said Rosenbaum had shouted “Fuck you! As he walked towards Rittenhouse in the parking lot of a used car dealership, then rushed towards the youngster’s AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.
McGinniss replayed the scene, crouching down and rushing forward with both arms. “It was like he was grabbing the front end,” he said.
McGinnis has been seen as a crucial witness both for the prosecution, which is trying to show that Rittenhouse used his gun without justification, and for the defense, which is trying to establish that the teenager shot Rosenbaum in a state of self-defense.
Rittenhouse, who was pointing his rifle at a 45-degree angle to the ground, moved his gun to his left in an attempt to avoid Rosenbaum’s grip before firing, McGinnis said.
Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger then asked if that meant Rosenbaum was no longer a threat.
McGinnis said the two were still “extremely close” to each other and it was not clear to him “what would have happened if those shots had not been fired”.
Ryan Balch, an army veteran who was among the gunmen with Rittenhouse at the used car dealership they said they were protecting, said Rosenbaum acted “violently” that night, throwing stones and trying to start fires, and a previous encounter threatened to kill him and Rittenhouse.
Earlier Thursday, the trial judge fired a juror for telling a joke about the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man whose injuries by a police officer sparked protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the year last.
“The public must be convinced that this is a fair trial,” Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder told juror, an older white man who refused to repeat the joke he had. told to a sheriff’s deputy outside the courtroom this week.
“It had nothing to do with the case,” the man told the judge.
It was “bad judgment to tell a joke of this nature,” Schroeder said, adding that he had no choice but to remove the man from the jury. The man then left the courtroom.
Blake was shot in the back several times, leaving him paralyzed from waist to toe. Prosecutors cleared the officer of any wrongdoing, claiming he had acted in self-defense. Blake chased him.
The shooting that Rittenhouse is accused of taking place amid the chaos that erupted in Kenosha after Blake’s shooting. Rittenhouse says he acted in self-defense.
Reporting by Nathan Layne in Kenosha, Wisconsin Editing by Ross Colvin, Rosalba O’Brien and Jonathan Oatis