17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse has been arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide after he shot two BLM protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
According to court records, Rittenhouse ‘fled the state of Wisconsin with the intent to avoid prosecution for that offense.’
One of the people who was shot dead has been identified as Anthony Huber.
The arrest came after video emerged showing the teen walking toward police officers and squad cars with his hands in the air. He was allowed to leave as people around were calling for him to be arrested as he had shot people.
As for why the shooter was allowed to walk away, Sheriff David Beth explained that the high-stress and chaotic scene, with nonstop radio traffic, chanting, screaming, and ‘people running all over the place’ can cause ‘tunnel vision’ among officers.
Police also said they fear the shootings started from a conflict between looters and ‘self-styled militias’ defending local businesses amid the ongoing unrest in the city over the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Blake, who was shot multiple times in front of his children by a Kenosha officer, remains in hospital.
Many civilians were carrying their own guns and weapons during demonstrations and Rittenhouse seemed to have been protecting a car shop, according to videos shared online.
Rittenhouse, one of the volunteers cleaning graffiti after another day of unrest in the city, can be seen holding his semi-automatic rifle in many photos.
The ‘self-styled militias’ have carried weapons while standing outside local businesses to protect them from arsonists or looters.
The sheriff said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that armed civilians had been patrolling the streets of Kenosha but he was not sure if the teen was among them.
Witness Devin Scott, 19, told the Chicago Tribute that he saw the shooting. “We were all chanting ‘Black lives matter’ at the gas station and then we heard, boom, boom, and I told my friend, that´s not fireworks.
“And then this guy with this huge gun runs by us in the middle of the street and people are yelling, ‘He shot someone! He shot someone!’ And everyone is trying to fight the guy, chasing him and then he started shooting again.”
Under Wisconsin law, people who are 17 or older is treated as an adult in the criminal justice system.
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