Earlier this week, The Washington Post reported that Kyle Rittenhouse used Covid stimulus money to pay for the rifle he used to defend himself from three attackers in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August.
The Post found that Rittenhouse, who was too young to buy a rifle, had arranged for an adult friend to buy the weapon for him using money Rittenhouse had received from a government stimulus program.
The Post interviewed Rittenhouse, who spoke publicly for the first time since his arrest. He said he did not regret that he had a gun that night. “I feel I had to protect myself,” he said. “I would have died that night if I didn’t.”
Rittenhouse has been held on $2 million dollars bail since his arrest in Illinois following the shooting. He was extradited to Wisconsin last month. Now, however, he’s posted the $2 million and was released from jail earlier to day.
Here’s the Associated Press’s report:
A 17-year-old from Illinois who is charged with killing two people during a protest in Wisconsin and whose case has become a rallying cry for some conservatives posted $2 million bail Friday and was released from custody.
Kyle Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz during a demonstration Aug. 25 that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. He posted bond through his attorney at about 2 p.m., Kenosha County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Wright said.
Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, told police he was attacked while he was guarding a business and that he fired in self-defense.
He faces multiple charges, including intentional homicide, reckless endangerment and being a minor in possession of a firearm. Wisconsin law doesn’t permit minors to carry or possess a gun unless they’re hunting. He is due back in court on Dec. 3 for a preliminary hearing.
His case has taken on political overtones. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have painted Rittenhouse as a trigger-happy white supremacist. Conservatives upset over property destruction during recent protests have portrayed him as a patriot exercising his right to bear arms during unrest. A legal defense fund for him has attracted millions of dollars in donations, and his mother got a standing ovation from women at a Waukesha County GOP function in September.
Huber’s father, John Huber, asked Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner Loren Keating during a hearing Nov. 2 to set Rittenhouse’s bail between $4 million and $10 million. Huber said Rittenhouse thinks he’s above the law and noted the effort to raise money on his behalf. He also suggested militia groups would hide him from police if he were released.
Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, asked for $750,000 bail.
Keating ultimately set bail at $2 million, saying Rittenhouse was a flight risk given the seriousness of the charges against him.