NATIONAL NEWS

Rittenhouse says first man he shot threatened to kill him

Nov 10, 2021, 10:05 AM

Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down describing the events leading up to the shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum a...

Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down describing the events leading up to the shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum as he testifies at his own homicide trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Circuit Court on Nov. 10, 2021. Rittenhouse faces six charges including one count each of First Degree Intentional Homicide, First Degree Reckless Homicide, and Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide. Rittenhouse, then 17, shot three people, two of them fatally during the unrest that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake seven times by a Kenosha police officer. (Credit Image: Mark Hertzberg/ZUMA Press Wire/Getty Images)

(Credit Image: Mark Hertzberg/ZUMA Press Wire/Getty Images)

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Kyle Rittenhouse broke down in tears on the witness stand at his murder trial Wednesday as he described how he was being pursued by the first man he shot and killed during a night of turbulent protests in Kenosha.

Rittenhouse, now 18, said he was walking toward a Car Source lot with a fire extinguisher to put out a fire when “I hear somebody scream, ‘Burn in hell!’ And I respond with ‘Friendly, friendly, friendly!’”

He said Joseph Rosenbaum was running at him from one side and another protester with a gun in front of him, “and I was cornered.” He said that’s when he began to run.

Rittenhouse began to sob, and the judge called for a break in testimony to allow him to regain his composure.

On a courtroom bench across the room, Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy Rittenhouse sobbed loudly as she watched her son apparently unable to speak further. Someone sitting next to her put an arm around her.

During his testimony, he said Rosenbaum was holding a chain at one point and twice threatened to kill him that night.

Apologizing to the court for his language, Rittenhouse said Rosenbaum was walking down the street with his chain and screamed, “If I catch any of you (expletives) alone I’m going to (expletive) kill you!”

And later that night, he testified, Rosenbaum said: “I’m going to cut your (expletive) hearts out! Rittenhouse said Rosenbaum also called them “N-words.” But he said he didn’t want to repeat the word in court.

Rittenhouse, who is charged with killing two men during a protest against racial injustice in the summer of 2020, responded no when asked by his attorney whether he came to Kenosha looking for trouble.

The former police youth cadet was 17 when he went to Kenosha with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle and a medical kit in what he has said was an effort to safeguard property from the unrest that broke out over the wounding of a Black man by a white Kenosha police officer.

Rittenhouse appeared composed at first as he gave answers in a matter-of-fact tone to questions from defense attorney Mark Richards.

Rittenhouse testified that he saw videos of violence in downtown Kenosha on Aug. 24, 2020, the day before the shootings, including a brick being thrown at a police officer’s head and cars burning in a Car Source dealership lot.

Rittenhouse said the Car Source owner “was happy we were there” and gave permission for the group to be there.

Rittenhouse’s decision to testify came despite several legal experts saying that an underwhelming prosecution case had made it less likely he would need to do so.

Prosecutors used 5½ days of testimony to try to portray Rittenhouse as the aggressor on the night of the shootings. But the prosecution’s witnesses often bolstered the young man’s claim of self-defense, including his fear that his weapon would be taken away and used against him.

The jurors were sent out of the room just before Rittenhouse began testifying while the judge explained his right to remain silent and the potential risks of testifying, Rittenhouse repeatedly answering that he understood.

As jurors reentered the room, they filed by Rittenhouse on the stand. As Rittenhouse began answering questions, some jurors appeared to take extensive notes on their clipboards.

Rittenhouse could get life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge against him.

Rittenhouse shot and killed 36-year-old Rosenbaum at close range. Then, as members of the crowd set upon him, he killed Anthony Huber, a 26-year-old protester seen on video clubbing Rittenhouse with a skateboard.

Rittenhouse then wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, a 27-year-old protester and volunteer medic who admitted pointing his own gun at Rittenhouse just before he was shot.

While Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot, the case has stirred debate over vigilantism, the right to bear arms and the unrest that erupted around the U.S. that summer over the killing of George Floyd and other police violence against Black people.

___

Bauer reported from Madison, Wisconsin; Foody from Chicago; Webber from Fenton, Michigan. Associated Press writer Michael Tarm contributed from Kenosha.

___

Find AP’s full coverage on the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse at: https://apnews.com/hub/kyle-rittenhouse

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

A paddle boarder tows an inflatable unicorn on a temporary lake in Death Valley on Thursday, Feb. 2...

Ty O'Neil, John Locher and Stefanie Dazio

Kayakers paddle in Death Valley after rains replenish lake in one of Earth’s driest spots

Kayakers have been paddling in one of the driest places on Earth after a series of storms battered California’s Death Valley and replenished Lake Manly.

2 hours ago

(Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Toyota recalls 280,000 pickups and SUVs because transmissions can deliver power even when in neutral

The recall is to fix a transmission problem that can let the vehicles creep forward while in neutral.

16 hours ago

The defendants are accused of stealing software used to train Apache helicopter pilots....

Haley Britzky and Sharif Paget, CNN

2 National Guardsmen killed after military helicopter crash in Mississippi

Two National Guard members died after a helicopter crashed Friday afternoon during a training flight in northeast Mississippi.

18 hours ago

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 photo, containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored ...

Associated Press

Facing backlash over IVF ruling, Alabama lawmakers look for a fix

Lawmakers began scrambling for ways to protect Alabama in vitro fertilization services after multiple providers paused services in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under a state law.

21 hours ago

Beguiling Joshua trees and intriguing rock formations helped draw millions of vistoris to Joshua Tr...

Forrest Brown, CNN

The most visited National Park Service sites in 2023 are …

See what Utah National Park proved to be the most popular in 2023.

23 hours ago

FILE - The residence where a former funeral home owner kept a deceased women's body in a hearse for...

Associated Press

A former funeral home owner has been arrested after a corpse lay in a hearse for 2 years

A former funeral home owner accused of hiding a woman's corpse in the back of a hearse for two years and hoarding the cremated remains of at least 30 people has been arrested, authorities said.

23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Rittenhouse says first man he shot threatened to kill him