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Teen cried, vomited and worried about social media as he told cops, 'I shot 2 white kids'

By Stacy St. Clair and Christy Gutowski, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

The reports indicate the friend also worried that he could be held responsible for the shootings.

"(The friend) stated after the shooting he spoke with Kyle and told Kyle that he (the friend) believed he (the friend) was going to be in more trouble than Kyle," the records said. "He told Kyle that he (Rittenhouse) was defending himself and said he told Kyle, 'In all reality, you are not supposed to have the gun. That gun was in my name.'"

Antioch police later interviewed the friend's stepfather, who begrudgingly had allowed the rifle to be stored at his house. He told police he did not approve of his stepson purchasing the gun for Rittenhouse, who was a minor, and so he kept it in a locked safe in his garage.

After Blake's shooting by police, the man said he moved the gun into his basement for his own "personal protection."

The man said he went to work Aug. 25 — the day of the Kenosha protest shootings — and his stepson called. His stepson said he and Rittenhouse had been hired by a downtown business to perform security, and he needed to borrow sandpaper for graffiti removal.

The friend's stepfather said he did not realize the rifle was missing from his home until Aug. 26, as he was preparing to leave town for a week due to the demonstrations, according to the police report.

 

Authorities have said Rittenhouse will not face gun charges in Illinois because the Smith & Wesson AR-15 .223 caliber rifle "was purchased, stored and used in Wisconsin" and they turned up no evidence the 17-year-old "physically possessed" the weapon here. Neither Rittenhouse nor his mother possesses the Firearm Owner Identification cards required to keep a gun in Illinois, according to the police reports.

Rittenhouse's case has become a cause celebre for gun rights advocates and militia groups throughout the country since his arrest in late August. In laying the groundwork for a self-defense argument, the teen's attorneys have painted him as a young patriot who wanted to protect the community and the victim of political conspiracy.

In court records filed before his extradition hearing Friday, Rittenhouse's attorney indicated that his mother could testify about the circumstances surrounding his arrest in their bid to keep the teenager from being sent to Wisconsin to face murder charges. However, she never took the stand and, after dry legal arguments, a Lake County judge ordered he be extradited.

A high school dropout with a deep interest in law-enforcement, Rittenhouse lives with his mother and sisters in a modest Antioch apartment complex located about 20 minutes from Kenosha. His attorneys say he went to Kenosha after his lifeguarding shift Aug. 25 to help remove graffiti drawn during the ongoing unrest and later responded to a local business owner's request for help protecting his establishment.

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