Wisconsin Right Now‘s Jim Piwowarczyk found missing evidence – two shell casings – just before 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at the first Kyle Rittenhouse shooting scene. After Piwowarczyk observed the casings lying under a silver Chevrolet car adjacent to the spot where Joseph Rosenbaum died, we photographed the shells, called the Kenosha police, and stood by until two detectives came to the scene and collected the casings.
The casings appeared to be .223 shells, which would be consistent with the gun Rittenhouse carried that night. The detectives said the evidence was important because they were the last casings unaccounted for from the scene. The scene was no longer cordoned off with crime scene tape.
Piwowarczyk is a former police officer and crime scene evidence technician.
Piwowarczyk and Milwaukee area journalist Jessica McBride were in Kenosha to document the damage at the scene and to speak to business owners about the fires and to interview eyewitnesses about the shootings. Their goal was to shed additional light on what has happened in Kenosha. It was their fourth day in the city, and they have streamed a number of live streams from the scene, including on Tuesday night as businesses burned to the ground.
As part of this effort, they went to the gas station parking lot where Rosenbaum was shot and killed by Rittenhouse, 17. The Kenosha County District Attorney previously charged Rittenhouse with homicide; Rittenhouse’s lawyer says Rittenhouse acted in self defense when attacked by a “vicious” “mob.”
Piwowarczyk went to the scene to look for additional evidence, along with any evidence that a Molotov cocktail had been thrown at Rittenhouse as some people claim video may show. In so doing, he discovered two shell casings were lying under the car, which was about six feet from the spot where Rosenbaum died, as marked by a makeshift memorial of liquor bottles and flowers.
We photographed the shell casings from a distance but didn’t touch them. Piwowarczyk called Kenosha police, and the detectives came and collected them.
What the Criminal Complaint Alleges
Here’s what the criminal complaint alleges happened at the spot where Rosenbaum died.
An 8 p.m. curfew had been imposed east of I-94 in Kenosha County due to civil unrest. On August 25th at approximately 11:45 pm a shooting occurred at Car Source which is located at the northwest corner of 63rd St. and Sheridan Road in the City and County of Kenosha, State of Wisconsin.
Read the criminal complaint here.
The man who was shot at this location was identified as Joseph Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum was transported to a local hospital where a doctor declared him to be deceased on August 26, 2020 at 12:47 am. In the course of investigating this incident, law enforcement reviewed and shared with your complainant multiple videos that appeared to be recorded on cell phones. In the first video, a male who was later identified to be Kyle H. Rittenhouse, DOB: 01/03/03 (hereinafter “the defendant”), is running southwest across the eastern portion of the Car Source parking lot.
The defendant is a resident of Antioch, IL. The defendant can clearly be seen holding a long gun, which was later recovered by law enforcement and identified as a Smith & Wesson AR-15 style .223 rifle. The recovered magazine for this rifle holds 30 rounds of ammunition.
Following the defendant is Rosenbaum and trailing behind the defendant and Rosenbaum is a male who was later identified as Richard McGinnis, a reporter. The video shows that as they cross the parking lot, Rosenbaum appears to throw an object at the defendant. The object does not hit the defendant and a second video shows, based on where the object landed, that it was a plastic bag. Rosenbaum appears to be unarmed for the duration of this video.
A review of the second video shows that the defendant and Rosenbaum continue to move across the parking lot and approach the front of a black car parked in the lot. A loud bang is heard on the video, then a male shouts, “F*ck you!”, then Rosenbaum appears to continue to approach the defendant and gets in near proximity to the defendant when 4 more loud bangs are heard. Rosenbaum then falls to the ground. The defendant then circles behind the black car and approaches Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum remains on the ground.
McGinnis also approaches, removes his shirt, and attempts to render aid to Rosenbaum. The defendant appears to get on his cell phone and place a call. Another male approaches, and the defendant turns and begins to run away from the scene. As the defendant is running away, he can be heard saying on the phone, “I just killed somebody.” Detective Cepress interviewed McGinnis and indicates the following: Before the shooting, McGinnis was interviewing the defendant. The defendant told McGinnis that he was a trained medic.
McGinnis stated that he (McGinnis) has handled many ARs and that the defendant was not handling the weapon very well. McGinnis said that as they were walking south another armed male who appeared to be in his 30s joined them and said he was there to protect the defendant. McGinnis stated that before the defendant reached the parking lot and ran across it, the defendant had moved from the middle of Sheridan Road to the sidewalk and that is when McGinnis saw a male (Rosenbaum) initially try to engage the defendant. McGinnis stated that as the defendant was walking Rosenbaum was trying to get closer to the defendant. When Rosenbaum advanced, the defendant did a “juke” move and started running.
McGinnis stated that there were other people that were moving very quickly. McGinnis stated that they were moving towards the defendant. McGinnis said that according to what he saw the defendant was trying to evade these individuals. McGinnis described the point where the defendant had reached the car. McGinnis described that the defendant had the gun in a low ready position. Meaning that he had the gun raised but pointed downward. The butt of the gun would have been at an angle downwards from the shoulder. McGinnis stated that the defendant brought the gun up. McGinnis stated that he stepped back and he thinks the defendant fired 3 rounds in rapid succession.
McGinnis said when the first round went off, he thought it hit the pavement. McGinnis felt something on his leg and his first thought was wondering whether he had gotten shot. McGinnis was behind and slightly to the right of Rosenbaum, in the line of fire, when the defendant shot. McGinnis stated that the first round went into the ground and when the second shot went off, the defendant actually had the gun aimed at Rosenbaum. McGinnis stated he did not hear the two exchange any words.
McGinnis said that the unarmed guy (Rosenbaum) was trying to get the defendant’s gun. McGinnis demonstrated by extending both of his hands in a quick grabbing motion and did that as a visual on how Rosenbaum tried to reach for the defendant’s gun. Detective Cepress indicates that he asked McGinnis if Rosenbaum had his hands on the gun when the defendant shot. McGinnis said that he definitely made a motion that he was trying to grab the barrel of the gun. McGinnis stated that the defendant pulled it away and then raised it.
McGinnis stated that right as they came together, the defendant fired. McGinnis said that when Rosenbaum was shot, he had leaned in (towards the defendant). McGinnis stated that after the defendant shot he ran back towards the hospital towards the middle of the road. McGinnis stayed and turned his attention to Rosenbaum. McGinnis stated that he then heard other shots really soon after. The third video that your complainant reviewed shows the defendant running northbound on Sheridan Road after he had shot Rosenbaum. The street and the sidewalk are full of people. A group of several people begin running northbound on Sheridan Road behind the defendant.
A person can be heard yelling what sounds like, “Beat him up!” Another person can be heard yelling what sounds like, “Hey, he shot him!” Your complainant reviewed a fourth video that showed a different angle of the defendant running northbound. In this video a person can be heard yelling, “Get him! Get that dude!” Then a male in a light-colored top runs towards the defendant and appears to swing at the defendant with his right arm. This swing makes contact with the defendant, knocking his hat off. The defendant continues to run northbound. On the video a male can be heard saying something to the effect of, “What’d he do?” Another male can be heard responding something to the effect of, “Just shot someone.”
Then a male can be heard yelling, “Get his ass!” The defendant then trips and falls to the ground. As the defendant is on the ground, an unidentified male wearing a dark-colored top and lightcolored pants jumps at and over the defendant. Based on the sounds of gunshots on the video and the positioning of the defendant’s gun, it appears that he fires two shots in quick succession at this person. It appears that that person was not hit as he then runs away from the defendant.
A second person who was later identified as Anthony Huber approaches the defendant who is still on the ground, on his back. Huber has a skateboard in his right hand. When Huber reaches the defendant it appears that he is reaching for the defendant’s gun with his left hand as the skateboard makes contact with the defendant’s left shoulder. Huber appears to be trying to pull the gun away from the defendant. The defendant rolls towards his left side and as Huber appears to be trying to grab the gun the gun is pointed at Huber’s body. The defendant then fires one round which can be heard on the video. Huber staggers away, taking several steps, then collapses to the ground. Huber subsequently died from this gunshot wound.
After shooting Huber, the defendant moves to a seated position and points his gun at a third male, later identified as Gaige Grosskreutz, who had begun to approach the defendant. When the defendant shot Huber, Grosskreutz freezes and ducks and takes a step back. Grosskreutz puts his hands in the air. Grosskreutz then moves towards the defendant who aims his gun at Grosskreutz and shoots him, firing 1 shot. Grosskreutz was shot in the right arm. Grosskreutz appears to be holding a handgun in his right hand when he was shot. Grosskreutz then runs southbound away from the defendant screaming for a medic and the defendant gets up and starts walking northbound.
The defendant turns around facing southbound while walking backwards northbound with his firearm in a ready position, pointed towards the people in the roadway. Dr. Kelley of the Milwaukee Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Joseph Rosenbaum. Dr. Kelley indicated that Rosenbaum had a gunshot wound to the right groin which fractured his pelvis, a gunshot wound to the back which perforated his right lung and liver, a gunshot wound to the left hand, a superficial gunshot wound to his lateral left thigh, and a graze gunshot wound to the right side of his forehead. Dr. Kelley also conducted an autopsy on Anthony Huber.
Dr. Kelley indicated that Huber had a gunshot wound to his chest that perforated his heart, aorta, pulmonary artery, and right lung. Detective Antaramian spoke with Dominic Black on August 26, 2020. Dominic stated that he received a phone call from his friend Kyle Rittenhouse, the defendant, at 11:46 pm in which the defendant stated that he shot someone. Detective Antaramian saw the defendant in person at the Antioch, IL Police Department and identified the defendant as the shooter in the various videos.
Read the criminal complaint here.
Here’s What Rittenhouse’s Attorney Says Happened That Night
The attorney representing Illinois teenager Kyle Rittenhouse says Rittenhouse is being scapegoated for his conservative political beliefs and was being chased by a “mob” of rioters when he opened fire, “defending himself from a relentless, vicious and potentially deadly mob attack in Kenosha, Wisconsin.”
On Aug. 28, the law firm of Pierce Bainbridge announced in a press release that it was representing the 17-year old Antioch, Illinois teenager who was charged with two counts of homicide and other charges stemming from the shooting deaths of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum.
The law firm’s release equates Rittenhouse’s actions to the Revolutionary War, arguing that government has failed.
Pierce Bainbridge founder John Pierce said:
A 17-year old child should not have to take up arms in America to protect life and property. That is the job of state and local governments. However, those governments have failed, and law-abiding citizens have no choice but to protect their own communities as their forefathers did at Lexington and Concord in 1775. Kyle is not a racist or a white supremacist. He is a brave, patriotic, compassionate law-abiding American who loves his country and his community. He did nothing wrong. He defended himself, which is a fundamental right of all Americans given by God and protected by law. He is now in the crosshairs of institutional forces that are much more powerful than him. But he will stand up to them and fight not only for himself, but for all Americans and their beloved Constitution. We will never leave his side until he is victorious in that fight.
According to the lawyers’ release, as Rittenhouse “proceeded towards the second mechanic’s shop, he was accosted by multiple rioters who recognized that he had been attempting to protect a business the mob wanted to destroy. This outraged the rioters and created a mob now determined to hurt Kyle. They began chasing him down. Kyle attempted to get away, but he could not do so quickly enough. Upon the sound of a gunshot behind him, Kyle turned and was immediately faced with an attacker lunging towards him and reaching for his rifle. He reacted instantaneously and justifiably with his weapon to protect himself, firing and striking the attacker.”
The lawyers say:
Kyle stopped to ensure care for the wounded attacker but faced a growing mob gesturing towards him. He realized he needed to flee for his safety and his survival. Another attacker struck Kyle from behind as he fled down the street. Kyle turned as the mob pressed in on him and he fell to the ground. One attacker kicked Kyle on the ground while he was on the ground. Yet another bashed him over the head with a skateboard. Several rioters tried to disarm Kyle. In fear for his life and concerned the crowd would either continue to shoot at him or even use his own weapon against him, Kyle had no choice but to fire multiple rounds towards his immediate attackers, striking two, including one armed attacker. The rest of the mob began to disperse upon hearing the additional gunshots.
The attorneys’ news release blames the Kenosha mayor and Wisconsin’s governor, saying they “failed to provide a basic degree of law and order to protect the citizens and community buildings in Kenosha. The city burned as mobs destroyed buildings and property, and looters stole whatever they wanted. Rioters defaced storefronts, the courthouse, and many other public and private locations across the city.”
According to the release, Rittenhouse had jut finished working as a community lifeguard in Kenosha. “He wanted to help clean up some of the damage, so he and a friend went to the local public high school to remove graffiti by rioters,” the release says.
“Later in the day, they received information about a call for help from a local business owner, whose downtown Kenosha auto dealership was largely destroyed by mob violence. The business owner needed help to protect what he had left of his life’s work, including two nearby mechanic’s shops. Kyle and a friend armed themselves with rifles due to the deadly violence gripping Kenosha and many other American cities, and headed to the business premises. The weapons were in Wisconsin and never crossed state lines.”
According to the release, Rittenhouse and others “stood guard at the mechanic’s shop across from the auto dealership to prevent further damage or destruction. Later that night, substantially after the city’s 8:00 p.m. curfew expired without consequence, the police finally started to attempt to disperse a group of rioters. In doing so, they maneuvered a mass of individuals down the street towards the auto shops. Kyle and others on the premises were verbally threatened and taunted multiple times as the rioters passed by, but Kyle never reacted. His intent was not to incite violence, but simply to deter property damage and use his training to provide first aid to injured community members.”
The release continues,
After the crowd passed the premises and Kyle believed the threat of further destruction had passed, he became increasingly concerned with the injured protestors and bystanders congregating at a nearby gas station with no immediate access to medical assistance or help from law enforcement. Kyle headed in that direction with a first aid kit. He sought out injured persons, rendered aid, and tried to guide people to others who could assist to the extent he could do so amid the chaos. By the final time Kyle returned to 2 the gas station and confirmed there were no more injured individuals who needed assistance, police had advanced their formation and blocked what would have been his path back to the mechanic’s shop. Kyle then complied with the police instructions not to go back there. Kyle returned to the gas station until he learned of a need to help protect the second mechanic’s shop further down the street where property destruction was imminent with no police were nearby.
According to the lawyers, “Kyle got up and continued down the street in the direction of police with his hands in the air. He attempted to contact multiple police officers, but they were more concerned with the wounded attackers. The police did not take Kyle into custody at that time, but instead they indicated he should keep moving. He fully cooperated, both then and later that night when he turned himself in to the police in his hometown, Antioch, Illinois.”
The lawyers assert: “Kyle did nothing wrong. He exercised his God-given, Constitutional, common law and statutory law right to self-defense.”
They believe that Rittenhouse is being scapegoated for his conservative political viewpoints.
However, in a reactionary rush to appease the divisive, destructive forces currently roiling this country, prosecutors in Kenosha did not engage in any meaningful analysis of the facts, or any in-depth review of available video footage (some of which shows that a critical state’s witness was not even at the area where the shots were fired); this was not a serious investigation. Rather, after learning Kyle may have had conservative political viewpoints, they immediately saw him as a convenient target who they could use as a scapegoat to distract from the Jacob Blake shooting and the government’s abject failure to ensure basic law and order to citizens. Within 24-36 hours, he was charged with multiple homicide counts.
Kyle now has the best legal representation in the country. With help from Nicholas Sandmann attorney L. Lin Wood, Pierce Bainbridge and multiple top-tier criminal defense lawyers in Wisconsin immediately offered representation to Kyle.
Today, his legal team was successful in working with the public defender to obtain a several-week continuance of his extradition hearing to September 25th. This at least partially slows down the rush to judgment by a government and media that is determined to assassinate his character and destroy his life.
Kyle, his family, the team at Pierce Bainbridge and his other lawyers intend to fight these charges every step of the way, take the case to trial and win an acquittal on the grounds of self-defense before a jury of his peers.
The legal fees and other costs of Kyle’s defense will be provided through donations to #FightBack Foundation Inc., a Texas 501(c)(4) foundation created by John Pierce and Lin Wood to protect lawabiding American citizens whose rights are being trampled on by state and local governments that are more concerned with appeasing mobs than protecting those rights.