Prosecutors have charged the suspect who allegedly gave 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse the rifle he used to fatally shoot two men and injure a third during the Jacob Blake riots in Kenosha.
The Illinois teen was too young to have legally bought the Smith & Wesson M & P-15 rifle himself that he wielded that fateful Aug. 25 night. Now Rittenhouse's friend, 19-year-old Dominick David Black, is facing two felony counts of intentionally selling a gun to a minor.
Rittenhouse is accused of intentional homicide among six charges for the fatal shootings of 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber. The boy also injured 26-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz when the Black Lives Matter mob threatened and chased down Rittenhouse as video evidence shows. His attorneys maintain that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.
“Kyle did nothing wrong,” his legal team argued in a September statement. “He exercised his God-given, Constitutional, common law and statutory law right to self-defense.”
According to authorities, Black bought the rifle in April for Rittenhouse. Black’s lawyer, Robert Keller, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his client has no prior criminal history.
Black purchased the gun in Ladysmith, Wis., using Rittenhouse’s money supplied earlier this year, police records filed in the criminal cases cite. The 19-year-old intended to use the rifle on hunting trips up north while on family property and stored the gun at his stepfather’s home in Kenosha.
As the civil unrest worsened, Black’s stepfather retrieved the guns out of the locked safe in the garage where they were usually stored. As armed individuals flocked to the city to purportedly protect private property from protesters, Black then reportedly asked Rittenhouse to travel to Kenosha to help defend a local business.
“In all reality, you are not supposed to have that gun,” Black allegedly told his underage friend after the shootings. “That gun was in my name.”
Black later admitted to police that he was also armed with a rifle at the car dealership where Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum in the parking lot. At the time, Black was on the roof of the auto repair shop.
According to court records, following the shootings, Black allegedly drove Rittenhouse back to his home in Antioch, Ill., with the rifle in his trunk. Then Black kept the guns in Wisconsin.
In addition to the murder charges, Rittenhouse faces a misdemeanor count of possessing a firearm while under the age of 18. His attorney, Mark Richards, attempted to have the charge dismissed on Nov. 2, highlighting an exception in the statute that allowed Rittenhouse to possess the rifle. During Rittenhouse's first virtual hearing in Kenosha County after his extradition from Lake County, Ill., Court Commissioner Loren Keating said that Richards could raise the issue later in writing.
Black made his first court appearance via Zoom on Monday in the Kenosha County Circuit Court. A judge set Black’s bond at $2,500 and ordered no contact between Black and Rittenhouse as well as Grosskreutz. His preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 19 while Rittenhouse has another court date scheduled on Dec. 3.
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