Kyle Rittenhouse stood out even in the chaos of the Kenosha protests as an “interesting figure” before he fatally shot two men and injured another, a man who livestreamed the unrest in Wisconsin testified Wednesday.
Koerri Washington, who filmed a video of the aspiring police officer running with a fire extinguisher on the evening of the Aug. 25, 2020, shootings, took the stand as Rittenhouse’s homicide trial entered the second day of testimony.
“I took a mental note of people that kind of stood out — like people that were acting erratic,” the self-described social media influencer told the court.
Washington said he noticed the then-17-year-old earlier in the evening and thought he seemed like an “interesting figure,” explaining that he appeared young and had been chain-smoking.
When the teen ran by him later that evening, he followed Rittenhouse with his camera.
“When he ran by, I went in my Rolodex in my head like, ‘Oh, I remember this guy from before. Is anyone chasing him or anything? No, maybe there’s something happening,’” Washington said, adding that he was “not necessarily focusing on him per se” but possibly a situation in that direction.
Prosecutors showed video from shortly after that captured the sound of gunshots, including those that killed Joseph Rosenbaum, the first man killed that night.
In his testimony, Washington said Rosenbaum had also stood out to him that night as one of the people acting “erratic.”
Rittenhouse’s lawyers have argued that the teen shot Rosenbaum in self-defense and then opened fire on two other men, Anthony Huber, 26, and Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, as a crowd closed in on him in the streets.
Prosecutors, however, have painted Rittenhouse as a vigilante who traveled from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to seek out conflict during protests over the police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed from the waist down.
In his opening statement Tuesday, Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger stressed that out of the “hundreds of people, only one person killed anybody that night, only one person shot anyone that night.”
Rittenhouse, now 18, faces six criminal charges, including intentional homicide and attempted homicide.
If convicted of the top charge, he would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.