Videos played at Kyle Rittenhouse’s criminal trial on Nov. 3 showed the shots he fired last year that killed Joseph Rosenbaum came 2.5 seconds after another man fired a single shot in the air.
Both the prosecution and defense concurred the man is Joshua Ziminski, 36, who was charged last year with disorderly conduct and use of a dangerous weapon, and has pleaded not guilty. Officials said in a criminal complaint that Ziminski and his wife both admitted that he had fired a “warning shot” into the air in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the night of Aug. 25, 2020.
Rittenhouse, 18, faces seven charges related to the gunshots he fired that night, including homicide in the deaths of Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and attempted homicide for having wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 27. He has pleaded not guilty. Opening arguments in the trial began Nov. 2 after a jury was selected on Nov. 1.
On Nov. 3, prosecutors at Rittenhouse’s trial played videos for the jury that captured events of that night in 2020 amid unrest and protests in Kenosha, which were sparked by a police officer’s shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.
In a bystander video livestreamed on the night by social media influencer Koerri Washington, Rittenhouse was seen running through the frame, carrying a fire extinguisher. Washington told the jury that Rittenhouse “looked kind of young … kind of seemed like an interesting figure,” adding, “It wasn’t anything, I wouldn’t say malicious, just a young person in a situation.”
Shortly after Rittenhouse is seen, one gunshot can be heard, which authorities said was the one Ziminski fired. The defense has said that that shot made Rittenhouse think he was under attack.
Four consecutive shots followed. Thomas Binger, the Kenosha County assistant district attorney, said those were from Rittenhouse firing at Rosenbaum, who died. The shooting itself isn’t clearly seen on camera.
Another three shots were heard; Kenosha Police Detective Martin Howard said investigators haven’t been able to discern who fired those.
‘Friendly! Friendly! Friendly!’
Howard confirmed that Rittenhouse could be heard shouting, “Friendly! Friendly! Friendly!” as he was being chased by Rosenbaum in a witness video presented to the jury.
The detective agreed with defense attorney Mark Richard that Rosenbaum appeared to be gaining ground on Rittenhouse.
Richards said that despite Rittenhouse yelling “Friendly! Friendly! Friendly!” it “does not dissuade Mr. Rosenbaum, correct?”
“Correct,” Howard responded.
Richards also said that Rosenbaum could be seen coming out from behind a car to face Rittenhouse before the shooting. Richards told Howard, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but this looks like the classic ambush.”
After prosecutors objected, Richards questioned, “Mr. Rosenbaum is in hiding as my client arrives, correct?”
“It appears so, yes,” Howard answered.
The jury also saw video footage that showed Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse and throwing a plastic bag at him. They also saw footage of Rosenbaum lying on the ground as bystanders sought to help him. A bystander could be seen placing a shirt on his wounded head to apply pressure.
Rittenhouse was seen in another video fleeing the scene after having shot Rosenbaum. He was being chased by a crowd of protesters, with some yelling “get him.”
During the chase, Rittenhouse stumbled to the ground, after which he fatally shot and killed Huber, who was seen on bystander video hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard.
Rittenhouse then shot Grosskreutz in the arm, wounding him. Grosskreutz had a gun in his hand as he stepped toward Rittenhouse.
“I need a [expletive] medic!” Grosskreutz screams in one video.
Another video played for the jury showed Rittenhouse saying before the shootings that he was there to protect property and provide medical care to anyone who was hurt. The previous night had seen demonstrations in the neighborhood.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.