Man Who Fired Shot Before Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha Is Charged: Officials

October 15, 2020 Updated: October 15, 2020

The man who admitted to firing a gunshot before Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot two people during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has been charged.

Joshua Ziminski, 35, faces a charge of disorderly conduct and use of a dangerous weapon following the Aug. 25 shooting that occurred in the midst of riots and protests in Kenosha after police shot Jacob Blake in the back. The charge carries a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to 90 days upon conviction.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by The Epoch Times, officials said Ziminski was seen holding a black handgun. They said he was seen walking with his wife near a gas station before firing one shot into the air.

“Detective Howard observed a muzzle flash emit from the handgun, and heard a gunshot at the same time,” the complaint stated. “In another video, the defendant is clearly seen at that same location. The defendant is seen walking in the same area, holding his right arm upwards, and firing off one shot from his handgun.”

Officials said that Ziminski and his wife both admitted that he fired a shot into the air. Ziminski pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and was released on $1,000 bond, according to records.

A public defender representing Ziminski didn’t return a voicemail.

Rittenhouse’s attorney, Lin Wood, told Fox News that video footage of the incident proves that Rittenhouse is innocent.

Epoch Times Photo
A police armored vehicle patrols an intersection while a building set afire by rioters burns in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“The evidence is overwhelming,” he said on Oct. 13. “There’s not one iota of evidence that he did anything except defend himself.”

According to the criminal complaint filed against Rittenhouse, he and a man pursuing him, 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum, were moving across the parking lot of Car Source when a loud noise was heard. Soon after, the teen shot Rosenbaum.

Richie McGinnis, a Daily Caller videographer who witnessed what happened, told police officers that Rittenhouse had his weapon pointed downward before bringing it up and firing three rounds in rapid succession as Rosenbaum tried to grab the gun.

Rittenhouse was arrested several days after the shooting in Lake County, Illinois, just across the border from Wisconsin.

He will not be charged in Illinois, officials announced this week.

Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said that after an investigation, it “revealed the gun used in the Kenosha shooting was purchased, stored, and used in Wisconsin. Additionally, there is no evidence the gun was ever physically possessed by Kyle Rittenhouse in Illinois.”

“The Antioch Police Department and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office will not be releasing any additional details regarding this investigation as to not disrupt any investigation that may be taking place in Wisconsin,” Nerheim’s office stated.

Rittenhouse is scheduled for another court appearance on Oct. 30.

Prosecutors said in the complaint that Rittenhouse ran after shooting Rosenbaum.

Several people tried to or did strike the teen as he was moving down the street, including Anthony Huber, 26.

Huber and Rosenbaum both died from gunshot wounds said to have been caused by Rittenhouse.

A third man, who approached Rittenhouse while holding a gun, was shot in the arm and survived.

The chaos unfolded amid a series of nightly riots, which were set off after a police officer shot Blake when he resisted arrest.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.