The Kenosha shooter was in front of a Donald Trump rally in January.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested and charged for fatally shooting two people and injuring one other person in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests for Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot seven times in the back by police. Not only did Rittenhouse commit a domestic terrorist attack, but he also attended a Trump rally in January, where he sat front row, and supported #BlueLivesMatter heavily on social media, according to a new report by Buzzfeed.
The rally took place on Jan. 30 in Des Moines, Iowa. Footage from the event showed Rittenhouse sitting just a few feet away from Trump, in the front row to the left of the podium. He also posted a TikTok video from the event, the outlet reports.
In the incident on Tuesday, Rittenhouse attacked protestors, seemingly helping police and illegally protecting property while wielding a large military gun. Video footage captured Rittenhouse pleasantly talking to officers and trying to get their attention.
However, by the end of the night, Rittenhouse was deemed a fugitive on the run. He was taken into custody Wednesday morning in Antioch, Illinois, where he is expected to be extradited to Wisconsin to face first-degree intentional homicide charges. Antioch Police said in a statement that Rittenhouse “fled the state of Wisconsin with the intent to avoid prosecution for the offense.”
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Trump 2020 campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said in a statement to Buzzfeed that “President Trump has repeatedly and consistently condemned all forms of violence and believes we must protect all Americans from chaos and lawlessness. This individual had nothing to do with our campaign, and we fully support our fantastic law enforcement for their swift action in this case.”
In addition to Rittenhouse’s pro-police support, he was also greatly affiliated with the force. Buzzfeed reports that the teen was a former member of the Lindenhurst, Grayslake, Hainesville Police Department’s Public Safety Cadet Program. The description of the program states that it “offers boys and girls the opportunity to explore a career in law enforcement” through “hands-on career activities,” in addition to training members on firearms and allowing members to ride along with officers during patrol. He was also a fire protection cadet with the Antioch Fire Department. If you were to go to his now-deleted Facebook page, you would see that he has access to two different types of guns. In one picture, he is posing with an AR-15-style rifle. The majority of his photos reference “Blue Lives Matter.”