Jury watches drone footage of Kyle Rittenhouse shooting man dead

The jury at Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial on Tuesday watched drone footage that showed Rittenhouse shooting Joseph Rosenbaum at close range during a night of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August.

The video, zoomed in and slowed down by a forensic imaging specialist, was played as the prosecution finished presenting its case, after a week of testimony in which some witnesses seemed to bolster Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense.

Rittenhouse is a former police youth cadet from Antioch, Illinois. On the night in question he went to Kenosha with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle and a medical kit, in response to a militia that called for protection for businesses against protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

The 18-year-old is charged with two counts of homicide, one of attempted homicide and two of recklessly endangering safety, for firing his weapon near others. He is also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor, as he was 17 at the time. He has pleaded not guilty.

The drone footage shown in court on Tuesday showed Rosenbaum, 36, following Rittenhouse before Rittenhouse suddenly turned and fired his rifle. Rosenbaum was shown to fall as Rittenhouse ran around a car.

Dr Doug Kelley, a forensic pathologist with the Milwaukee county medical examiner’s office, said Rosenbaum was shot by someone within 4ft. Rosenbaum’s hand, he said, was “in close proximity or in contact with the end of that rifle”.

Kelley said Rosenbaum was shot four times: in the groin, hand and thigh as he faced Rittenhouse and then in the back. Prosecutor James Kraus called that the “kill shot”.

Moments later, Rittenhouse, then 17, killed Anthony Huber, 26, who was seen on bystander video hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard. Rittenhouse also wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, a protester and volunteer medic who carried a gun of his own.

On Monday, Grosskreutz told jurors he was armed because he “believe[s] in the second amendment” but that he did not shoot Rittenhouse because “that’s not the kind of person that I am … and definitely not somebody I would want to become”.

A Kenosha detective, Ben Antaramian, testified that authorities learned someone had recorded drone video, which played on Fox News, but were not given a high-definition version until Friday.

Prosecutors also displayed autopsy photographs of Huber’s body on a gurney and closeup pictures of a gunshot wound to his chest. Rittenhouse turned his head and lowered his eyes, and sighed deeply.

In the highly contentious trial, prosecutors have portrayed Rittenhouse as the instigator of bloodshed.

“The evidence will show that hundreds of people were out on the street experiencing chaos and violence and the only person who killed anyone was the defendant, Kyle Rittenhouse,” Thomas Binger, Kenosha county assistant district attorney, said last week.

Rittenhouse’s lawyers have said he acted in self-defense, suggesting he feared his rifle would be used against him. Rittenhouse’s lead lawyer, Mark Richards, said: “Other individuals who didn’t see [the Rosenbaum shooting] attacked [Rittenhouse] in the street like an animal.”

The trial continues.

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