A chaotic protest over the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer left three men shot – two fatally – and a teen facing life imprisonment.
With a jury deliberating the fate of Illinois 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse Wednesday, pro-conviction protesters outside the city’s courthouse are demanding the public remember the men who were shot on Aug. 25 just down the street.
Joseph Rosenbaum, a 36-year-old residing in Kenosha, was the first man who Rittenhouse fatally shot on the evening of Aug. 25, 2020.
Drone footage of the encounter appears to show Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse before the teenager turned around and fired four shots at close range, fatally striking Rosenbaum.
Rittenhouse testified that he acted in self-defense after Rosenbaum threatened to kill him and tried to grab his gun, but prosecutors argued that Rittenhouse provoked Rosenbaum earlier in the evening.
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Hours before the fatal encounter, Rosenbaum had been released from a local hospital in the wake of a suicide attempt, the Washington Post reported last fall.
He had pending charges in Wisconsin for alleged domestic abuse and jumping bail at the time of his death.
In December 2002, a court in Pima County, Arizona, sentenced him to a decade in prison on child molestation charges. He spent just over 14 years in prison and committed dozens of disciplinary infractions, state records show.
Rosenbaum had a young daughter at the time of his death.
Rittenhouse faces one count of first-degree reckless homicide for shooting Rosenbaum, a crime that is punishable by up to 60 years in prison.
Moments after Rittenhouse fatally shot Rosenbaum, 26-year-old Anthony Huber chased after the teen and hit him with a skateboard. Rittenhouse then fatally shot Huber once in the chest.
Rittenhouse testified that he acted in self-defense, while prosecutors say that Huber was trying to stop an “active shooter” when he approached the armed teen.
Huber was a Kenosha native who had six siblings. He was an avid skateboarder with a “quick wit and comedic personality,” according to his obituary.
Wisconsin court documents show that Huber was convicted of domestic abuse and disorderly conduct in 2018. He also served a prison stint in 2012 for choking his brother.
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His girlfriend, Hannah Gittings, told WTMJ on Wednesday that the trial was “more dramatic than I thought it was going to be.”
“I just feel he was so underrepresented in this trial and I don’t think that’s fair because what he did was assess an active shooter situation and he was just that type of man,” Gittings told the local news outlet.
Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Huber’s death, a crime that carries a mandatory life sentence.
A third man, 28-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz, was shot once in the arm after approaching Rittenhouse with a handgun.
Grosskreutz testified at trial that he pointed his handgun at Rittenhouse before being shot, but said it was unintentional.
The unrest in Kenosha on Aug. 25 was one night out of about 75 protests that Grosskreutz had attended, he testified at the trial. A trained paramedic, he carried supplies and said he wanted to offer help to anyone needing medical attention.
Grosskreutz also testified that the concealed weapon permit for his handgun was expired the night of the shooting.
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Rittenhouse faces one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide for shooting Grosskreutz, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 60 years.
Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys, Mark Richards and Corey Chirafisi, have said that he went to Kenosha to clean up graffiti, to protect small businesses from looters, and to provide medical aid after nights of protests. They maintain that he opened fire only in self-defense — after being attacked by a group of grown men.
Aside from the three homicide charges, Rittenhouse also faces two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Each count is punishable by 12 1/2 years in prison.
All five charges that Rittenhouse is facing also have weapons modifiers that could add an additional five years in prison. The jury may also weigh lesser charges for some of the counts.
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Protests in Kenosha broke out last summer after a White police officer shot Jacob Blake, who is Black, in the back seven times on Aug. 23. The shooting left Blake paralyzed from the waist down.
Protesters scorched about 20 buildings and hurled fireworks and glass bottles in defiance of a city-wide curfew put in place after the incident.
Fox News’s Sarah Rumpf contributed to this report, as well as the Associated Press.
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