In Rittenhouse trial, witness says shooting victim was 'lunging' at defendant before fatal shot

Rittenhouse, an aspiring police officer, says he went to Kenosha to safeguard property from the violent protests
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Kyle Rittenhouse
Kyle Rittenhouse (on ground), the teenager charged in the shooting deaths of two in Kenosha riots in August.
(Tayfun Coskun/Getty Images)

One of two men fatally shot by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosah, Wisconsin, during the summer 2020 social justice demonstrations seemed to “lunge” toward the defendant's rifle just before he fired, a witness testified Thursday.

The witness, Richie McGinniss, a video director for the The Daily Caller, testified in Rittenhouse's murder trial that he saw shooting victim Joseph Rosenbaum chase down Rittenhouse, in one of the few moments on the night of Aug. 25, 2020, not clearly captured on video, according to the Associated Press.

"He was lunging, falling," said McGinnis, a prosecution witness. "I would use those as synonymous terms in this situation because basically, you know, he threw his momentum towards the weapon."

He also testified that Rittenhouse "kind of dodged around" with his weapon and then leveled the gun and fired, the wire service also reports.

Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with fatally shooting Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, then wounding 27-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz, a protester who had a gun in his hand as he stepped toward Rittenhouse.

Huber, 26, is seen on bystander video hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard before being shot.

Rittenhouse, an aspiring police officer, then 17, went to Kenosha from Illinois with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle and a medical kit in what he said was an effort to safeguard property from the violent protests that broke out over the police shooting of a black man, the wire service also reports.

Prosecutors have said Rittenhouse instigated the shooting, while his lawyer has argued his client acted in self-defense and fear for his life.

The defense also has said a shot fired by someone in the crowd moments before Rittenhouse began shooting made their client believe he was under attack.

Kenosha Detective Martin Howard testified that video footage shows that a protester had fired the first shot into the air, also according to the Associated Press.

The defense has suggested that Rittenhouse was ambushed by Rosenbaum, who according to testimony came out from behind a car unarmed to meet Rittenhouse and chased him as Rittenhouse shouted, “Friendly! Friendly! Friendly!”

Moments after Rittenhouse fatally shot Rosenbaum, he shot and killed Anthony Huber, 26, a protester who was seen on bystander video hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard.

Rittenhouse then wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, a protester from West Allis, Wisconsin, who had a gun in his hand as he stepped toward Rittenhouse, the wire service also reports.