As a recap, two nights ago, 17-year-0ld Kyle Rittenhouse was serving with an armed citizen’s militia group to attempt to prevent property destruction at the hands of the Democrat-endorsed and mostly peaceful arsonists and rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. During the course of the evening, Rittenhouse became isolated, was attacked, chased, and beaten in the street. At the end of it all, Rittenhouse was alive, two Antifa goons were dead and a third is learning to become left-hand dominant. Rittenhouse was arrested on the charge of first degree murder. Wisconsin law requires anyone older than 16 to be tried as an adult for serious felonies.
There has been a lot written here and other places about the shooting. The key element is whether the lethal encounter between Rittenhouse and a raging mob was self-defense or was it some form of unlawful killing. The best primer on that subject has been written by our own shipwreckedcrew Breaking Down The Videos Of The Two Shooting Incidents In Kenosha — Self-Defense?
Today the New York Times runs a story that analyzes all the available video to give a second-by-second account of Rittenhouse’s actions. I was skeptical going into it because the strong bias of the New York Times is pro-Antifa, anti-gun, and anti-self-defense.
About 15 minutes before the first shooting, police officers drive past Mr. Rittenhouse, and the other armed civilians who claim to be protecting the dealership, and offer water out of appreciation.
Mr. Rittenhouse walks up to a police vehicle carrying his rifle and talks with the officers.
He eventually leaves the dealership and is barred by the police from returning. Six minutes later footage shows Mr. Rittenhouse being chased by an unknown group of people into the parking lot of another dealership several blocks away.
I think this is a critical part of the story. The question in my mind has been how did Rittenhouse come to be isolated and surrounded by a feral mob? Earlier video has him with a large group. Did he go off on his own looking for trouble? The answer seems to believe that as part of a de-escalation strategy at the dealership, the police were refusing to allow people in and, as people left they were kept out. So by Rittenhouse leaving the premises, he becomes separated from other militia members and this makes him a target.
While Mr. Rittenhouse is being pursued by the group, an unknown gunman fires into the air, though it’s unclear why. The weapon’s muzzle flash appears in footage filmed at the scene.
Mr. Rittenhouse turns toward the sound of gunfire as another pursuer lunges toward him from the same direction. Mr. Rittenhouse then fires four times, and appears to shoot the man in the head.
This is the NYT video:
I’m not using the same video as the NYT here as I believe this tells more of the story:
You see the pedophile, Rosenbaum, chasing Rittenhouse and hurling something at him. Then you hear the first shot (0:07). Clearly pistol. Then you hear four shots (0:11) and you see Rosenbaum stretched out. And finally, there are three additional shots (0:15). Those three, to me, sound like a rifle. Were they fired by Rittenhouse? Or is there a third firearm involved?
Regardless, the sequence of events is that Rittenhouse becomes separated from his group. He’s pursued by men, including Rosenbaum, who throw a potentially lethal projectile or projectiles at him. Someone shoots. It doesn’t really matter who or why. At this point, any sane person would assume that the shot was fired by the people chasing him.
The facts here are that Rittenhouse did not start the conflict, he did all that could be demanded of him in even a “duty to retreat” state. He is definitely in reasonable fear of his life after the first gunshot.
Mr. Rittenhouse seems to make a phone call and then flees the scene. Several people chase him, some shouting, “That’s the shooter!”
As Mr. Rittenhouse is running, he trips and falls to the ground. He fires four shots as three people rush toward him. One person appears to be hit in the chest and falls to the ground. Another, who is carrying a handgun, is hit in the arm and runs away.
Mr. Rittenhouse’s gunfire is mixed in with the sound of at least 16 other gunshots that ring out during this time.
They sugarcoat this more than a little. Rittenhouse is punched in the back of the head (0:05). He stumbles and falls (0:12). At 0:15 he gets kicked in the face as Skateboard Boy hits him across the shoulders with his vehicle. At this point, Skateboard Boy is shot while Rittenhouse is flat on his back. Lefty charges him and gets winged and starts screaming “Medic!” apparently forgetting that he is portraying himself as one (physician, heal thyself).
Then the really important part. As Rittenhouse moves off, and note that he fires only two shots and he doesn’t point the weapon at anyone, you hear numerous other gunshots. Presumably, these come from one or more Antifa nutter blazing away or engaging in celebratory gunfire.
All in all, it looks pretty obvious that all three shootings were definitely justified. Rittenhouse was trying desperately to escape, he was pursued, and Antifa caught him. Before they could kill or maim him, he killed two of them and wounded a third.
But Rittenhouse’s problems are far from over. As my friend and colleague Mike Ford told me earlier today, the process is going to be the punishment here and they are going to screw him on some weapons-related charge. You can’t stretch out three Democrat voters in the streets of a Blue city in a Blue state and walk away from it. It is bad for the morale of the troops.