Kyle Rittenhouse was “freaking out,” pale and seemed “really scared” in the moments after shooting three men during destruction and unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and said he had to do it because “people were trying to hurt him,” a friend testified at Rittenhouse’s murder trial.
Dominick Black was the first person to testify in the trial, taking the stand as the prosecution’s first witness. Black bought the rifle for Rittenhouse months before the shootings because he was not old enough to own one at the time.
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He traveled to Kenosha with Rittenhouse on the night of the shooting, Aug. 25, 2020, but was separated from Rittenhouse when he fatally shot two men and wounded a third.
Black faces his own trial for buying the 17-year-old Rittenhouse an AR-15-style rifle he wasn’t old enough to legally possess. He testified on Tuesday that he was stunned when Rittenhouse called him seconds after the first shooting.
“I didn’t believe the gunshots were actually his until I got a phone call, and I answered it, and he just said, ‘I shot somebody, I shot somebody,’” Black recounted.
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During his Tuesday testimony, Black said he and Rittenhouse went to downtown Kenosha to help protect a car dealership from property damage after cars at another lot owned by the same business were burned the night before. Black said he thought nobody would start trouble if they saw him with his assault-style rifle.
Black said he was on the rooftop when he heard gunshots but didn’t know Rittenhouse was involved until Rittenhouse called and said, “I shot somebody, I shot somebody.”
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Afterward, Black said, Rittenhouse was “freaking out. He was really scared. He was pale, shaking a lot.” Black said Rittenhouse told him that he acted in self-defense because “people were trying to hurt him.”
Rittenhouse is charged with two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide, recklessly endangering safety and illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.
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He was 17 in August 2020 when he traveled from his home state of Illinois during protests in the city over the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake.
He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
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Wednesday’s testimony began shortly after 9 a.m. local time, with Koerri Washington returning to the stand following a brief questioning on Tuesday afternoon. Washington is one of the people who witnesses the protests in August 2020, capturing much of the events on live-streamed video.
Rittenhouse’s trial is expected to last at least two weeks.
Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.