Never-Before-Seen FBI Video Shows Key Moments Before Rittenhouse Shot First Man

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
November 5, 2021 Updated: November 6, 2021

Aerial FBI surveillance footage was shown to the public for the first time this week during Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial.

The infrared footage, captured from an FBI airplane hovering about 9,000 feet high, shows the moments before Rittenhouse shot Joseph Rosenbaum on Aug. 25, 2021.

Rittenhouse, then 17, mortally wounded Rosenbaum, who was approaching him in the parking lot of a car dealership in downtown Kenosha, Wisconsin amid rioting there. Rittenhouse also shot two other men, one of whom struck him with a skateboard. The other approached him while carrying a gun.

Rittenhouse was later charged with first-degree homicide and other counts and faces up to life in prison.

Both men are seen in the footage, as are dozens of other people. The features of the persons cannot be seen but labels were affixed to show two “persons of interest,” one of which, “person of interest 2,” was later identified as Rittenhouse, and the other as Rosenbaum.

Prosecutors say Rittenhouse shouldn’t have shot Rosenbaum, who witnesses have said was advancing towards the teenager. Thomas Binger, one of the prosecutors, showed the footage and other videos on Wednesday as he questioned Martin Howard, a Kenosha police detective.

Howard agreed that none of the videos indicated Rosenbaum had a weapon on him, though he noted Rosenbaum did have a plastic bag he at one point threw at Rittenhouse.

But the detective also agreed with Mark Richards, Rittenhouse’s lead attorney, that Rosenbaum was in hiding between cars as his client arrived on the scene.

“It appears so, yes,” he said.

Richards said the situation was “the classic ambush,” which drew a successful prosecutorial objection and was struck from the record, but not until after jurors heard the description.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.