(Trends Wide) — Kyle Rittenhouse, who was acquitted of killing two people and shooting another in 2020 during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has asked a court to order the release of the gun he used because he wants to properly destroy it, according to a court document filed by his attorney.
Rittenhouse, now 19, was tried for premeditated murder and four other felonies stemming from the shootings that unfolded during protests against police brutality in August 2020.
A court document filed Wednesday by Rittenhouse’s attorney requested the release of his personal property that was seized by police when he was arrested.
“Mr. Rittenhouse further wishes to ensure that the firearm in question is properly destroyed,” attorney Mark Richards writes in the document filed in Kenosha County Circuit Court.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, said he shot in self-defense during riots following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, in Kenosha. The contentious case highlighted a national divide between those who saw Rittenhouse as a vigilante and others who saw him as a citizen who took up arms to protect businesses from looters and rioters.
The AR-15 firearm used in the shootings was purchased by Dominick Black, who was dating Rittenhouse’s sister at the time. Rittenhouse was too young to buy and own a gun but agreed to pay for the firearm, Black testified in November at trial.
Rittenhouse is the rightful owner of the firearm “under the verbal contract enacted with Dominick Black,” Rittenhouse’s attorney argues in the court document requesting surrender of the firearm.
The attorney also requested the return of several other items, including a 30-round magazine, bullets, an iPhone and some clothing.
Testimony about how the shootings happened
As the Kenosha riots unfolded on August 25, 2020, Rittenhouse and Black each took a gun and ammunition and headed downtown to protect a car dealership, where six or seven other people had gathered. armed, according to the testimony of both in the trial,
Black headed to the roof of the dealership because he felt being on the ground was too dangerous, he testified. Black heard gunshots in the distance in an area where Rittenhouse was, he said. And then he got a phone call.
“I didn’t think the shots were his until I got a phone call. I answered and he just said, ‘I shot someone, I shot someone,’ and then hung up right away,” Black testified.
Rittenhouse returned to the dealership and the two drove to Rittenhouse’s house in Antioch, across the border from Illinois. Rittenhouse turned himself in to police the next morning.
At trial, Rittenhouse gave emotional testimony saying he was defending himself when he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum, who threw a plastic bag at him and was unarmed.
“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he testified. Rittenhouse was afraid that Rosenbaum, who didn’t touch him that night, would take his gun and kill people, he said.
“He was chasing me. He was alone. He threatened to kill me earlier that night. I didn’t want to have to shoot him,” Rittenhouse testified. “I targeted him because he kept running towards me and I didn’t want him to chase me.”