KEY POINTS

  • Rittenhouse used his $1,200 stimulus payment to purchase an AR-15
  • He asked 19-year-old Dominick Black to buy the gun at an ACE Hardware
  • Rittenhouse was charged with multiple counts of homicide

Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse used money he received from the coronavirus stimulus check to buy the AR-15 that he later used to shoot and kill two men. 

In his first jailhouse interview, Rittenhouse said he fatally shot two men in Kenosha on Aug. 25 in self-defense. The 17-year-old added that he does not regret his actions that led to the deaths of 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber, and injured 26-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz. 

“I feel I had to protect myself. I would have died that night if I didn’t,” Rittenhouse told The Washington Post.

Rittenhouse also revealed he used his $1,200 stimulus check to buy the semi-automatic rifle. 

"I got my $1,200 from the coronavirus Illinois unemployment because 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,'” Rittenhouse said. 

Because he was not old enough to purchase the weapon, he asked 19-year-old Dominick Black to buy the weapon at an ACE Hardware store in Wisconsin. A police investigation showed Black stored the rifle at his stepfather’s house. 

Black was later charged with two counts of intentionally providing a dangerous weapon to a minor, resulting in death, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

On the night of the shooting, Rittenhouse said he went to Kenosha, located 20 miles away from his home, to protect local businesses amid the unrest. 

Photos of Rittenhouse surfaced on social media platforms, showing him walking with the AR-15 over his shoulder and a medic’s bag strapped on his hip. Videos of the incident showing the night’s events was also picked up by multiple news organizations. 

"I was going into a place where people had guns, and god forbid somebody brought a gun to me and decided to shoot me ... I wanted to be protected, which I ended up having to protect myself," he told the Post. 

A Wisconsin court charged Rittenhouse with multiple counts of homicide, reckless endangerment, and weapon offenses. Court Commissioner Loren Keating also set his bond to $2 million, citing that he is a flight risk. He is scheduled to be back in court on Dec. 3. 

Police in the Wisconsin city of Kenosha used tear gas on August 25, 2020 in a bid to break up a demonstration sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, as his three children watched Police in the Wisconsin city of Kenosha used tear gas on August 25, 2020 in a bid to break up a demonstration sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, as his three children watched Photo: AFP / KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI