The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse took a number of interesting twists and turns on Wednesday, but no development was more talked about than the accused shooter's decision to take the stand. While being questioned by the defense, Rittenhouse recalled the events of August 25, 2020 in which he shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. According to CNN, Rittenhouse testified that a man by the name of Joshua Ziminski encouraged Rosenbaum to "get" Rittenhouse and "kill him." Later that night, Rittenhouse claims that he felt threatened when Rosenbaum move toward him with his hands up.
"I remember his hand on the barrel of my gun," Rittenhouse told the court.
The teenage shooter responded to Rosenbaum's actions by firing his weapon four times and killing him. Immediately afterward, CNN reports that Rittenhouse admitted to fleeing the scene in search of the police. As he fled the scene, the accused shooter says a "mob" chased after him. Along the way, the teenager says he became lightheaded and fell to the pavement.
"I thought if I were to be knocked out, he would have stomped my face in if I didn't fire," Rittenhouse added, according to CNN.
In the midst of all that happened, Rittenhouse claims that an unknown person tried to kick him and he fired twice. He also told the court that Huber struck him with a skateboard, so he shot and killed him. Finally, Rittenhouse alleges Gaige Grosskreutz lunged at him and pointed a pistol at his head. The accused shooter then pointed a gun at Grosskreutz and fired at his torso. However, he sruvived.
The accused killer's testimony hit a tipping point when he broke down in tears in front of the court. He claims that he didn't know anything wrong by firing at three men throughout the night.
"I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself," he cried.
Judge Bruce Schroeder called for a break in his testimony before allowing the defense to begin their questioning. When prosecutor Thomas Binger stepped in for question, Rittenhouse admitted that Rosenbaum never made physical contact with Rittenhouse. As Binger proceeded with questioning Rittenhouse, the defendant struggled to explain why he brought a weapon to Kenosha that night. Throughout the trial, the defendant said he traveled to Kenosha to help protect property and administer first aid. When asked why he would need an AR-15 while completing these tasks, Rittenhouse told the prosecution that didn't know why he would need to use it.
"I don't understand. You said you're going to bring the gun to protect yourself, so you thought you were going to be in danger, right?" Binger asked.
"I didn't think I would be put into a situation to where I would have to defend myself," Rittenhouse answered, according to CNN.
Rittenhouse's has argued that the need to defend himself legally justified the shooting deaths of two people. If found guilty, he could spend the remainder of his life in prison.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.