Kyle Rittenhouse says he used stimulus money to buy gun used in shooting

Kyle Rittenhouse claimed that he purchased the gun to protect himself

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Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year old accused of shooting protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin with an AR-15 style rifle, spoke with the press for the first time since his arrest in August.

The Washington Post obtained an interview with the teen who is being charged with “multiple counts of homicide and weapons offensives.” Rittenhouse opened fire during a protest in support of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot by Kenosha police over the summer.

Rittenhouse killed two men and injured one. Rittenhouse is too young to purchase a gun on his own so he had an adult make the purchase for him. He purchased the gun with funds from a government-issued stimulus check.

Kyle Rittenhouse
This undated booking photo from the Antioch (Illinois) Police Department shows Kyle Rittenhouse, who has been charged with fatally shooting two men and injuring a third during protest in Kenosha, Wis., in late August. (Antioch Police Department/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Read More: Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, extradited to Wisconsin for fatal shootings of protesters

“I feel I had to protect myself,” says Rittenhouse in the interview published Thursday. “I would have died that night if I didn’t.”

Rittenhouse’s sister claimed he supports peaceful protests but insisted that night the rioters were “monsters.”

Rittenhouse, who is from Illinois, had connections to Kenosha through his 18 year-old-friend Dominick Black. Black bought the gun for him in the spring.  The video included in the story showed pictures of the two standing together posing with large guns. The publication added that minors cannot buy guns in the state but could participate in target practice in the presence of an adult.

theGrio reported earlier this month that Black has been charged with two felony counts of supplying a dangerous weapon to a minor causing death. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Read More: Teen charged with supplying gun Rittenhouse used to kill Kenosha protesters

Rittenhouse was not legally allowed to tote or own a gun himself but on the evening of August 25 but he did so anyway.

He says he purchased the gun with $1200 from the Illinois unemployment stimulus check because he was furloughed from the YMCA he worked at.  He received his first unemployment check and told reporters at the publication through a cell phone he thought to himself, “oh I’ll use this to buy it.”

The gun was being held at Black’s home and according to The Post the gun and others were removed from a lockbox once Black and his family saw the riots on the news on the night of August 24. The next day, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, were shot and killed by Rittenhouse.

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