Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old facing murder charges for fatally shooting two people during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, used his stimulus check to purchase the AR-15 he was carrying with him. The teen told the Washington Post that he received $1,200 after he was furloughed from his job.
"I got my $1,200 from the coronavirus Illinois unemployment 'cause I was on furlough from YMCA, and I got my first unemployment check, so I was like, 'Oh, I'll use this to buy it,'" Rittenhouse told the paper from a juvenile detention facility.
Rittenhouse said that he brought the gun with him to the protest for protection. He claims he was acting in self-defense when he shot three people during the rally. Two of those people died, while the other person suffered severe injuries.
"I was going to a place where people had guns, and God forbid somebody brought a gun to me and decided to shoot me," the teen said. "I wanted to be protected, which I ended up having to protect myself."
Because Rittenhouse was too young to purchase the rifle himself, he enlisted the help of his friend, 18-year-old Dominick Black, who is set to stand trial on charges of intent to sell a dangerous weapon to a person under age 18, causing death. Authorities said that Black bought the rifle and stored it at his home in Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse is currently being held on $2 million cash bail as he awaits his murder trial. If he is convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
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