Kyle Rittenhouse, the white 17-year-old alleged vigilante who has been arrested in connection with a violent assault of peaceful protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that left two people dead and another wounded, idolized police.
According to his Facebook page, which has since been taken down, Rittenhouse is a strong supporter of police. His page featured pictures of badges with black bands across them, which police wear when a fellow officer is killed. An image of Rittenhouse and another man is framed in a blue circle that contains the words, duty, honor, courage and “Blue lives matter.”
The teenage killer had a yearslong affiliation with local police cadet programs, with photographs on social media showing him in full uniform complete with a badge, arm patch and trooper-style campaign hat, shown in a photo of cadets with the Grayslake, Lindenhurst, Hainesville Public Safety Cadet program. The website for that group, also removed from view Wednesday, said Cadets, who are between the ages of 14 and 20, are schooled in police procedures including traffic stops, crash investigations, firearms, domestic disputes and crime scene investigation.
Yet it was Rittenhouse’s own local Police Department that arrested him around 5 a.m. Wednesday in Antioch, Illinois, where he lives in an apartment complex with his mother. He was taken into custody as a fugitive from justice, wanted for first-degree intentional homicide in Kenosha, MSN reported.
Riddenhouse who was teased and considered of being “dumb” and “stupid,” in school by classmates, according to MSN, is being held at a Lake County juvenile detention facility pending a hearing on his potential extradition to Wisconsin, according to the sheriff’s office.
Not surprisingly he is a Trump supporter. Rittenhouse attended an Iowa Trump rally in January, and video from the event shows him cheering for the president from the front row. The teen also posted a video from the rally on one of his two TikTok accounts.
His other TikTok account contains a video of himself firing a semiautomatic rifle at a target, while the song “Sail” by Kreepa plays. The rifle in the video, which was posted earlier this month, appears identical to the one he was seen carrying Tuesday night, according to MSN.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested Wednesday in connection with shooting three protesters — two of whom have died — in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night, The New York Times and USA Today reported.
The teenager, who was armed with an AR-15, is from Antioch, Illinois, and crossed state lines to stand guard outside businesses during unrest stemming from the police shooting of Jacob Blake days earlier.
He was taken into custody in and will be charged with first-degree intentional homicide, USA Today’s Nick Penzenstadler tweeted.
Two people were killed -a 26-year-old Silver Lake resident and a 36-year-old Kenosha resident – and 26-year-old from West Alli was injured in gun violence – according to authorities who did not release their names – that erupted just before midnight.
A video posted early Wednesday shows a young man who appears to be Rittenhouse talking on the phone as he runs away from a man with a bullet wound on his head.
“I just killed somebody,” a voice on the video can be heard saying.
It’s unclear why Rittenhouse decided to involve himself in the unrest in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot multiple times in the back at close range on Sunday. In videos posted Tuesday night before the latest shootings, an armed Rittenhouse can be seen hanging out with older men who are carrying weapons and saying that they are protecting a boarded-up gas station.
The Kenosha Guard, a vigilante group that patrolled the city’s streets Tuesday night without the sheriff’s blessing, released a statement Wednesday morning saying it did not know whether the shooter had any connection to the group. It also cautioned the public to wait until the facts emerge before weighing in on the case.
In an interview with the Daily Caller that night, Rittenhouse refers to his presence as his “job” and explains his self-appointed responsibilities in police-like vernacular.
“People are getting injured and our job is to protect this business,” Rittenhouse says in the 19-second clip. “And part of my job also is to protect people. If someone is hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle; I’ve gotta protect myself obviously. But I also have my med kit.”
In another video clip, officers in an armored vehicle toss bottles of water to Rittenhouse and other armed civilians. Though the people are clearly violating the city’s 8 p.m. curfew and Rittenhouse is too young to openly carry a firearm in Wisconsin, the officer expresses his gratitude for the group.
“We appreciate you guys,” the officer says. “We really do.”
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth shrugged off the interaction at a Wednesday news conference.
The sheriff also downplayed video indicating police let Rittenhouse walk past them with a semi-automatic rifle over his shoulder as members of the crowd were yelling for him to be arrested because he had shot people. The lack of response, however, allowed Rittenhouse to return to Antioch, a far northern suburb more than 20 miles from Kenosha.
Court records indicate that Rittenhouse worked as a lifeguard at a YMCA in suburban Lindenhurst. A YMCA spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune that Rittenhouse was a part-time employee who has been furloughed since March because of the pandemic.
Last week, Rittenhouse received a speeding ticket and a citation for driving without a license in Kenosha.
[Editor’s Note: Here is where we original posted criminal charges according to investigative reporting of Latino Empowerment Administrator Duane Bryght, but it has been pointed out that some or all of the criminal charges originally shared attributed to the Kenosha protest killer Kyle Rittenhouse actually belong to another Kyle Rittenhouse. Kyle Joseph Rittenhouse who is 31-years-old. The shooter is Kyle Howard Rittenhouse who is 17-years-old. We like to thank our readers for pointing that out to us so we can make the correction. While we pride ourselves on our research and facts we provide, it is equally important to correct what we may have occasionally gotten wrong.]
Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story as more information comes in.