Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse illegally bought gun with coronavirus stimulus check

The Kenosha shooter will face charges in Wisconsin

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 19 November 2020 17:52 GMT
Biden includes Kyle Rittenhouse in ad about white supremacy

Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who killed two protesters and was charged with murder following protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, used his coronavirus stimulus money to buy the AR-15 he used in the shootings.  

Since Mr Rittenhouse was too young to purchase a gun under Wisconsin's state law, the teen - who worshipped law enforcement figures on his social media pages - decided to skirt the law and purchase one from his friend.  

Mr Rittenhouse admitted to The Washington Post that he bought the gun from his friend, Dominick Black, using the $1,200 stimulus check granted by the CARES Act.

“I got my $1,200 from the coronavirus Illinois unemployment ’cause I was on furlough from YMCA and I got my first unemployment check so I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll use this to buy it,'” he said. 

Mr Black is facing two felony charges for intentionally giving a dangerous weapon to a minor resulting in death. The 18-year-old said he planned to transfer ownership of the rifle to Mr Rittenhouse once he turned 18.  

Mr Rittenhouse claims he shot and killed two protesters in self defense. He has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide.  

The night of the shooting, Mr Rittenhouse took his weapon from his home across the border in Illinois and brought it to the protest. He claimed he was there to support police officers and protect private property from looters.  

“I was going to a place were people had guns and god forbid somebody brought a gun to me and decided to shoot me,” Mr Rittenhouse said. “I wanted to be protected which I ended up having to protect myself.”

Mr Rittenhouse appeared in a number of videos from the protest. One shows him painting over graffiti. Another shows him claiming to be associated with a militia. Others show various moments before and after the shootings, which include Mr Rittenhouse arguing with and pointing his weapon at protesters, and then running from them before shooting three of them.  

The teen has become a folk hero for right-wing ideologues that endorse violence against their political opponents.  

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter said she wanted Mr Rittenhouse "as my president" in a tweet she wrote in August. Fox News host Tucker Carlson has defended him numerous times, even going so far as to invite his mother onto his show to give a tearful interview about her son.  

Mr Rittenhouse was extradited to Wisconsin, where he will face his charges. 

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