Kyle Rittenhouse Says He ‘Would Have Died’ During Riot, Fired Rifle to Protect Himself

The Illinois teenager accused of fatally shooting multiple people during a protest that turned violent in Kenosha, Wisconsin, earlier this year said during a jailhouse interview he fired his gun in self-defense.

“I feel I had to protect myself,” Kyle Rittenhouse said during the interview, reported the Washington Post. “I would have died that night if I didn’t.”

Rittenhouse was seen on video with a rifle during a night of unrest in Kenosha on Aug. 25 following the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake, who had resisted arrest, a few days earlier.

The 17-year-old from Antioch has been accused of fatally shooting two people and wounding a third person after he traveled to the protests in Kenosha to protect businesses from being looted, his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, previously said.

NTD Photo
Wendy Rittenhouse, mother of teen suspect in fatal Kenosha shooting Kyle Rittenhouse, speaks with Chicago Tribune reporters in Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 5, 2020. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Rittenhouse had his bond set at $2 million on Nov. 2 and is facing up to life in prison if convicted for multiple charges that include first-degree intentional homicide for killing 26-year-old Anthony Huber and first-degree reckless homicide in the death of 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum.

In addition to two first-degree homicide charges, he is also charged with attempted homicide in the first-degree for injuring Gaige Grosskreutz with his rifle.

The 19-year-old owner of the firearm used by Rittenhouse has been identified as Dominick David Black. He was charged earlier this month with two felony counts of intentionally selling a gun to a minor. His bail was set at $2,500.

Police Shooting Wisconsin
Kyle Rittenhouse appears for an extradition hearing in Lake County court in Waukegan, Ill., Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. (Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo, Pool)

According to a criminal complaint, Rittenhouse shot the two men after they ran at him and another who approached him while holding a gun. Erich Pratt, senior vice president of the Gun Owners of America, pointed to the videos and said in a statement that “it appears” Rittenhouse “was acting in self-defense.”

Rittenhouse’s attorney, Lin Wood, also previously told Fox News that video footage of the incident proves that Rittenhouse is innocent.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” he said on Oct. 13. “There’s not one iota of evidence that he did anything except defend himself.”

Friends and family of the deceased said they were working to protect others from Rittenhouse.

“Self-defense, that’s impossible,” Huber’s father, John Huber said during a video hearing earlier this month. “He had already killed a guy and tried to run. My son was a hero. He tried to stop him. He was a hero. Anyone who says otherwise is dead wrong.”

Rittenhouse’s next scheduled court appearance is set for Dec. 3.

Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.