Prosecutors on Thursday charged a 17-year-old from Illinois in the fatal shooting of two protesters and the wounding of a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Kyle Rittenhouse faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of first-degree reckless homicide, one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.
He would face a mandatory life sentence if convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, the most serious crime in Wisconsin.
The shootings late Tuesday - largely caught on cellphone video and posted online - and the shooting by police Sunday of Blake, a 29-year-old Black father of six who was left paralyzed from the waist down, made Kenosha the latest focal point in the fight against racial injustice that has gripped the country since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
The two men killed were Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, and Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of the city.
A third man was injured. Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, of West Allis, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Kenosha is recovering after surgery, said Bethany Crevensten, another activist. She said Grosskreutz was volunteering as a medic when he was shot and called him "a hero." Rosenbaum was shot and killed first, after following Rittenhouse into a used car lot, where he threw a plastic bag at the gunman and attempted to take the weapon from him, according to a criminal complaint released by prosecutors Thursday.
The medical examiner found that Rosenbaum was shot in the groin and back - which fractured his pelvis and perforated his right lung and liver - and his left hand. He also suffered a superficial wound to his left thigh and a graze wound to his forehead.
Rittenouse then ran down the street and was chased by several people shouting that he just shot someone before he tripped and fell, according to the complaint and cellphone footage. Huber, who was carrying a skateboard, was shot in the chest after apparently trying to wrest the gun from Rittenhouse, the complaint said.
Grosskreutz, who appeared to be holding a gun, then was shot in the left arm after approaching Rittenhouse, the complaint said.
Rittenhouse's attorney, Lin Wood, said the teenager was acting in self-defence.
"From my standpoint, it's important that the message be clear to other Americans who are attacked that there will be legal resources available in the event false charges are brought against them," he said.