Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy, has blamed protesters and law enforcement for a deadly night in Kenosha, Wisconsin that ended with her 17-year-old son fatally shooting two protesters.
Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, the 45-year-old said that the protesters shouldn’t have been there the night they were shot by her son, she blamed Kenosha police and state and local government for the deadly incident, and voiced her unwavering support for the Second Amendment. According to the Tribune, she expressed little sympathy for the victims’ families.
The shootings took place when protests broke out in Kenosha after white police Officer Rusten Sheskey shot 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake several times in the back at close range. Civilian militia groups took to the streets with guns, saying that they wanted to help local law-enforcement protect the city from protesters, and Rittenhouse was among them on the fatal night.
Wendy Rittenhouse said she had no idea her son was at the fevered scene that night, and voiced her anger toward local police and government for making her son feel like it was necessary to protect the city. “The police should have helped the businesses out instead of having a 17-year-old kid helping,” she said. “The police should have been involved with these people that lost their businesses. They should have stepped up.”
She went on: “No one should have been there... The protesters should not have been there, also. My son shouldn’t have been there either.”
The mom refused to say if she knew her son owned the rifle—but she did say that she sees no problem with teenagers possessing powerful firearms if they have “respect” for the weapon. Kyle Rittenhouse was allegedly armed with an AR-15 style rifle on the night of the shootings.“I’m 100 percent right to bear arms,” said Wendy Rittenhouse. “You have to respect the gun. And I told my son, ‘You have to respect the gun’ and everything like that.”
Repeating earlier sentiments from her son’s lawyer, and from President Donald Trump, Wendy Rittenhouse claimed her son acted in self-defense. According to the Tribune, she singled out one video from the night that made her feel “sick,” and it was a recording of a group of protesters approaching her son—not the footage of him shooting them. “Self-defense,” she told the paper, adding: “He was in danger.”
Asked if she wanted to pass on a message to the families of the two men who lost their lives that night, she reportedly cited a recent bail hearing during which one victim’s dad criticized her son, and refused to express her condolences. “I am not saying nothing because I watched when he had his bail hearing and I’m not going to say anything,” she said.
John Huber, the father of 26-year-old victim Anthony Huber, previously dismissed attempts to claim that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense when Anthony was shot and killed. The 26-year-old was running toward Rittenhouse after the first shooting when he was hit.
“This defense of self-defense? That is impossible,” said John Huber at a court hearing last week. “[Rittenhouse] was an active shooter and he tried to flee. And my son lost his life protecting other people. He was a hero. Anyone who says otherwise is dead wrong.”