The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial on Tuesday saw footage of the teenager shooting Joseph Rottenbaum at close range during a night of racial justice protests in Wisconsin last year, the Associated Press reported.
Rittenhouse is charged with killing two people and wounding a third in Kenosha in August 2020. Throughout the trial, the defense has argued that his actions were in self-defense. Wisconsin’s self-defense law permits a person to use deadly force if “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.” The jury must determine whether Rittenhouse thought he was in danger and if his shooting was justified.
The high-definition drone video shows Rottenbaum following Rittenhouse and then the 17-year-old wheeling around and shooting him at close range. The footage was zoomed in and slowed down by a forensic imaging specialist. So far, the video is the clearest footage of the shooting to be seen, the AP said.
The prosecution played the video for the jury after a week of testimony. Prosecutors said they secured a low-resolution copy earlier in their investigation but weren’t given the high-definition one until the trial’s fifth day.
Dr. Doug Kelley, a forensic pathologist with the Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office, testified that Rosenbaum was shot four times: in the groin, hand and thigh when facing Rittenhouse and then in the back, the AP said. Prosecutor James Kraus called that last shot the “kill shot.”
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Rittenhouse, a former police youth cadet from Antioch, Illinois, had gone to Kenosha with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle and a medical kit in what he said was an effort to safeguard property from the sometimes violent demonstrations that broke out over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white Kenosha police officer.
Prosecutors have portrayed Rittenhouse as the instigator of the bloodshed that night. Rittenhouse, now 18, could get life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges against him.
He fatally shot Anthony Huber, a 26-year-old protester seen on bystander video hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard. Rittenhouse then wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, a protester and volunteer medic who came at Rittenhouse with a gun of his own.
On Tuesday, Rittenhouse turned his head and averted his eyes from a defense table monitor as prosecutors displayed medical examiner photographs of Huber’s body laid out on a gurney, a gunshot wound to his chest clearly visible, and breathed deeply as autopsy photos of Rosenbaum showing his injuries were displayed for the jury.
A few jurors also seemed to find it difficult to look for long at the images, one glancing up at a monitor over her shoulder, then looking straight ahead.