Kyle Rittenhouse, who spoke publicly for the first time in an interview from jail, said that he used stimulus unemployment money to buy his AR-15 and that he has no regrets about arming himself the night he shot three people.
Rittenhouse, 17, spoke to the Washington Post in a phone interview and said he did not regret that he had a gun that night.
“God forbid somebody brought a gun to me and decided to shoot me. Like, I like, wanted to be protected, which I ended up having to protect myself,” Rittenhouse said.
“No, I don’t regret it. I feel I had to protect myself,” he told the Post. “I would have died that night if I didn’t.”
Rittenhouse said that he was on furlough from his job at the YMCA due to the pandemic and used the money from his first unemployment check.
“And I got my first unemployment check so I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll use this to buy it,'” he said in the interview.
Rittenhouse’s friend, Dominick Black, was recently charged with buying and providing the rifle Rittenhouse used in the shootings.
Black, 19, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was charged with two counts of intentionally giving a dangerous weapon to someone under 18 causing death, a felony.
Prosecutors said that Black admitted he had purchased the AR-15 style rifle for Rittenhouse, who gave Black the money to buy it and register it in his name.
Prosecutors have said that Black asked Rittenhouse to help him guard Car Source, a Kenosha car dealership, from looting and damage on the night of the August 25 shootings.
The owner of Car Source has denied that he ever requested Rittenhouse or Black to help guard his business.
Rittenhouse’s mother also recently spoke out in an interview and claimed she would have tried to stop her son from going to Kenosha during the protests but she did not know where he was or what he was doing at the time.
Wendy Rittenhouse deflected blame away from her son Kyle in an interview with the Chicago Tribune and voice anger at police, politicians and protesters, the Tribune reported.
The single mother of three said that her son should not have been in downtown Kenosha at the time of the shootings.
“No one should have been there,” she told the Tribune. “The protesters should not have been there, also. My son shouldn’t have been there either.”
“The police should have helped the businesses out instead of having a 17-year-old kid helping him,” she said. “The police should have been involved with these people that lost their businesses. They should have stepped up. I’m not mad at the police. I’m not. They have a hard enough job as it is.”
Wendy Rittenhouse said in the interview that she was getting a COVID-19 test for her job and running errands on August 25.
She said that she did not check in with her son until around midnight and he responded that he was “doing medic” duties, the Tribune reported.
Rittenhouse is being held in the Kenosha County jail after a Lake County judge allowed authorities to extradite Rittenhouse to Wisconsin in October.
Rittenhouse is facing charges of first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.
He is accused of shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, on August 25 near 63rd Street and Sheridan Road in Kenosha during civil unrest sparked by the Jacob Blake shooting.
Rittenhouse remains held in jail on a $2 million cash bond.