The Corner

Law & the Courts

Kyle Rittenhouse’s Lawyers Release Statement

It’s online here. This is their version of the key facts:

After Kyle finished his work that day as a community lifeguard in Kenosha, he wanted to help clean up some of the damage, so he and a friend went to the local public high school to remove graffiti by rioters. Later in the day, they received information about a call for help from a local business owner, whose downtown Kenosha auto dealership was largely destroyed by mob violence. The business owner needed help to protect what he had left of his life’s work, including two nearby mechanic’s shops. Kyle and a friend armed themselves with rifles due to the deadly violence gripping Kenosha and many other American cities, and headed to the business premises. The weapons were in Wisconsin and never crossed state lines.

Upon arrival, Kyle and others stood guard at the mechanic’s shop across from the auto dealership to prevent further damage or destruction. Later that night, substantially after the city’s 8:00 p.m. curfew expired without consequence, the police finally started to attempt to disperse a group of rioters. In doing so, they maneuvered a mass of individuals down the street towards the auto shops. Kyle and others on the premises were verbally threatened and taunted multiple times as the rioters passed by, but Kyle never reacted. His intent was not to incite violence, but simply to deter property damage and use his training to provide first aid to injured community members.

After the crowd passed the premises and Kyle believed the threat of further destruction had passed, he became increasingly concerned with the injured protestors and bystanders congregating at a nearby gas station with no immediate access to medical assistance or help from law enforcement. Kyle headed in that direction with a first aid kit. He sought out injured persons, rendered aid, and tried to guide people to others who could assist to the extent he could do so amid the chaos. By the final time Kyle returned to the gas station and confirmed there were no more injured individuals who needed assistance, police had advanced their formation and blocked what would have been his path back to the mechanic’s shop. Kyle then complied with the police instructions not to go back there. Kyle returned to the gas station until he learned of a need to help protect the second mechanic’s shop further down the street where property destruction was imminent with no police were nearby.

As Kyle proceeded towards the second mechanic’s shop, he was accosted by multiple rioters who recognized that he had been attempting to protect a business the mob wanted to destroy. This outraged the rioters and created a mob now determined to hurt Kyle. They began chasing him down. Kyle attempted to get away, but he could not do so quickly enough. Upon the sound of a gunshot behind him, Kyle turned and was immediately faced with an attacker lunging towards him and reaching for his rifle. He reacted instantaneously and justifiably with his weapon to protect himself, firing and striking the attacker.

Kyle stopped to ensure care for the wounded attacker but faced a growing mob gesturing towards him. He realized he needed to flee for his safety and his survival. Another attacker struck Kyle from behind as he fled down the street. Kyle turned as the mob pressed in on him and he fell to the ground. One attacker kicked Kyle on the ground while he was on the ground. Yet another bashed him over the head with a skateboard. Several rioters tried to disarm Kyle. In fear for his life and concerned the crowd would either continue to shoot at him or even use his own weapon against him, Kyle had no choice but to fire multiple rounds towards his immediate attackers, striking two, including one armed attacker. The rest of the mob began to disperse upon hearing the additional gunshots.

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