A detective testifying in the ongoing trial for Kyle Rittenhouse said the defendant shouted “Friendly! Friendly! Friendly!” as he was being chased by a man whom he later fatally shot, as Rittenhouse’s attorney described the confrontation as a “classic ambush.”
Jurors on Wednesday spent much of the day hearing testimony regarding video footage from the night of Aug. 25, when Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and wounded a third during a night of destruction and unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse and at least one friend said they traveled to the Wisconsin city to protect local businesses and provide medical aid after two nights of businesses being looted and set on fire.
Rittenhouse was 17 at the time and brought a medical kit and an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle, the latter of which had been supplied to him by a friend and was later used in the shootings.
Kyle Rittenhouse, center, looks up and away from a video monitor as footage of him shooting on the night of Aug. 25, 2020, is shown during the trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Nov. 3 2021. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)
Part of Wednesday’s video included an infrared video made by an FBI surveillance plane from almost 9,000 feet above the spot where Rittenhouse shot 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum. With colored circles superimposed on the video identifying the movements of the two men below, Kenosha Police Detective Martin Howard agreed with defense attorney Mark Richards that Rittenhouse had repeatedly shouted “Friendly!” as he was being chased and that Rosenbaum appeared to be gaining ground on Rittenhouse.
Richards also described how Rosenbaum had come out from behind a car to meet Rittenhouse before the shooting, saying to the detective: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but this looks like the classic ambush.”
After prosecutors objected, Richards said: “Mr. Rosenbaum is in hiding as my client arrives, correct?”
Mark Richards, Kyle Rittenhouse’s lead attorney, left, talks with Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, center, during a break in Rittenhouse’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Nov. 3 2021. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest over police brutality in Kenosha last year. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)
“It appears so, yes,” Howard responded.
The video, played for the 20-person jury of 11 women and nine men, also shows the man running after Rittenhouse and throwing a plastic bag at him.
Someone is heard yelling “F— you!” followed by the sounds of the four shots Rittenhouse fired, killing Rosenbaum, though the shooting itself is not clearly seen on camera.
Moments after shooting the 36-year-old Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse shot and killed Anthony Huber, 26, a protester from Silver Lake, Wisconsin, who was seen on bystander video hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard.
This undated photo shows Anthony Huber, right, and Hannah Gittings. Huber was fatally shot, Aug. 25, 2020, along with Joseph Rosenbaum by Kyle Rittenhouse during a protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a White police officer on Aug. 23. ((Hannah Gittings via AP)
Rittenhouse then wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, a protester from West Allis, Wisconsin, who had a gun in his hand as he stepped toward Rittenhouse.
Court resumed Thursday after a brief morning delay when a juror was dismissed from the case. Howard then continued his testimony.
Rittenhouse is charged with two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide, recklessly endangering safety and illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.