The mother of a teenage boy from Illinois accused of killing two men in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests over a police shooting said in an interview published Tuesday her son shouldn’t have been there. She also said the protesters shouldn’t have been there either.
“No one should have been there,” Kyle Rittenhouse‘s mother Wendy Rittenhouse told the Chicago Tribune. “The protesters should not have been there, also. My son shouldn’t have been there either.”
Kyle Rittenhouse is charged with fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber during the protest in August. He is also charged with wounding a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz. Rittenhouse’s attorneys have said he acted in self-defense.
Wendy Rittenhouse told the newspaper she didn’t know her 17-year-old son was in Kenosha last August until soon after the shooting, when he returned to the family’s apartment in Antioch, Illinois, about 15 miles from Kenosha. The 45-year-old single mother of three said she had been driving around looking for him and he was at the apartment when she came back.
Dominick Black, 19, is facing felony charges for allegedly providing the 17-year-old with the assault-style rifle he’s accused of using in the shootings on the night of August 25. Rittenhouse and her attorney John Pierce told the paper that her son and Black went to Kenosha to help clean graffiti from a school.
In Kenosha, where demonstrators had been protesting the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a White officer, Rittenhouse and Black offered to protect a used car dealership that they heard was damaged recently, according to the Tribune. Rittenhouse’s mother told the newspaper that wasn’t an appropriate job for a teenager.
“The police should have helped the businesses out instead of having a 17-year-old kid helping him,” she told the paper. “The police should have been involved with these people that lost their businesses. They should have stepped up. I’m not mad at the police. I’m not. They have a hard enough job as it is.”
Kyle Rittenhouse is being held on $2 million bail. At the bail hearing last week, John Huber, the father of victim Anthony Huber, told the court that Rittenhouse “thinks he’s above the law” and would disappear if freed before the trial.
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