After 17-year old Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested on Wednesday, Aug. 26, for the shooting deaths of two protesters and the wounding of another who were all protesting after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI, the teen is now in police custody as a fugitive from justice on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide.
Just prior to the shooting spree, Kenosha police officers were seen on video encouraging and giving water to Rittenhouse and other militia-type supporters.
As Rittenhouse remains in the Lake County juvenile detention facility in Illinois as he awaits an extradition hearing on Friday (Aug. 28), here are seven things you need to know about the Kenosha shooter.
HE IS A HIGH SCHOOL DROP-OUT
Rittenhouse dropped out of Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa. Antioch-Lakes Community High School District 117 Superintendent Jim McKay confirmed that Rittenhouse attended one semester as a freshman during the 2017-18 school year, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
HIS FACEBOOK ACCOUNT BACKED THE BLUE LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT
In his now deactivated Facebook page, Rittenhouse repeatedly displayed his support to “Blue Lives Matter.” A picture surfaced of the teen holding a long-arm rifle framed with the “Blue Lives Matter” logo. He also honored several officers who have died in the line of duty.
RITTENHOUSE ATTENDED A TRUMP RALLY
A video from one of his two TikTok accounts shows that Rittenhouse sat front row of an Iowa Trump rally on Jan. 30, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Soon after Rittenhouse’s arrest, representatives from Donald Trump’s campaign weighed in with the following statement: “President Trump has repeatedly and consistently condemned all forms of violence and believes we must protect all Americans from chaos and lawlessness. This individual had nothing to do with our campaign and we fully support our fantastic law enforcement for their swift action in this case.”
HE OFTEN SHOT HIS SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLE FOR LEISURE
On his other TikTok account, a video shows him firing off a semi-automatic rifle at a target that was posted sometime in August. It appears that the rifle is identical to the one he used to shoot at protestors on Tuesday night (Aug. 25). Rittenhouse’s semi-automatic rifle was purchased illegally, Illinois citizens must be 21-years-old to obtain a long-gun rifle, according to the Giffords Law Center.
RITTENHOUSE WAS APART OF LOCAL POLICE CADET PROGRAMS.
Photos on social media show the 17-year-old in full uniform with a badge, arm patch and trooper-style campaign hat. WBEZ says that Rittenhouse was a part of public Safety Cadet programs from Grayslake, Lindenhurst, and Hainesville all show pictures of Rittenhouse participating in activities.
THE YMCA, HIS FORMER EMPLOYER, SAID THAT HE IS NOT WELCOME BACK.
“He will not be returning to the YMCA,” the YMCA said in a statement to The Herald Review.“We abhor these violent acts. Our condolences go out to the families of the victims in this incident.” YMCA of Metro Chicago has confirmed that Rittenhouse is a part-time employee who was on furlough since March.
HE GAVE AN INTERVIEW CLAIMING HE WAS PROTECTING PROPERTY IN KENOSHA.
In an interview with the Daily Caller the night of the shooting, Rittenhouse claims that his presence is his "job" and explains what his self-appointed responsibilities are. "People are getting injured and our job is to protect this business," Rittenhouse says in the 19-second clip. "And part of my job also is to protect people. If someone is hurt, I'm running into harm's way. That's why I have my rifle; I've gotta protect myself obviously. But I also have my med kit.”