A lawyer representing Kyle Rittenhouse — the Illinois teen accused of shooting and killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week — said he was “hunted” and that he fired his weapon in self-defense, Yahoo Entertainment reported.
John Pierce, the attorney for the 17-year-old accused of murder, appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight on Monday and discussed the circumstances relating to his client’s alleged actions.
On August 25, Rittenhouse and multiple other counter-protesters, described by Yahoo Entertainment writer Stephen Proctor as “armed right-wing activists,” descended on Kenosha while protesters were demonstrating in the city in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake.
As Fox News would later report, at least some of the activists had come to Kenosha with a view towards being deputized by Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth. Beth wasn’t having it.
“I had a person call me and say, ‘Why don’t you deputize citizens who have guns to come out and patrol the city of Kenosha?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh hell no,'” he said.
Whether or not Rittenhouse was specifically part of that group remains unclear.
What is clear, however, is that Rittenhouse has been accused of firing his weapon in the direction of at least three people, two of whom were killed.
Specifically, Rittenhouse was alleged to have shot at three people while a crowd was pursuing him, according to The Washington Post. When the dust had settled, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, were killed; Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, was injured. Rittenhouse, meanwhile, reportedly approached police with his hands raised; officers did not initially apprehend him.
Pierce said that the protesters had set their sites on killing his client.
“The mob became enraged. They began screaming that Kyle needed to be killed and they were going to kill him. They started relentlessly hunting him as prey as he ran down the street attempting to retreat,” Pierce said.
Pierce further claimed that Rosenbaum, specifically, had assaulted his client, forcing the teen to act in self-defense.
“Mr. Rosenbaum, who was leading the attack on him, set upon him immediately, began to assault him from behind, attempted to take his weapon, take his firearm, and Kyle, when he turned, he instantaneously had no choice but to defend himself by firing because he was in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death,” he said.
He also brushed off any suggestion that his client showed up in town with an itchy trigger finger. He said that Rittenhouse brought the weapon to Kenosha because the city was a “war zone,” but that he had also brought a first aid kit because he was concerned there might be wounded protesters.