CHICAGO (WLS) — A Wisconsin man is charged with providing the gun to teenager Kyle Rittenhouse who then allegedly killed two men during the unrest in late August.
Video of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse has become an icon of the Kenosha street violence. The Antioch teenager carried an assault-style rifle as he walked through that wild scene in Wisconsin, then opened fire on two unarmed demonstrators. Rittenhouse is claiming self-defense.
How he got the gun has been an unanswered question the past ten weeks. Until now. The I-Team has learned Rittenhouse’s 19-year old friend is charged with buying the rifle for him from a Wisconsin hardware store.
Dominick Black, a 19 year old from Kenosha, is locked up for allegedly supplying the Smith and Wesson M & P 15 rifle to Rittenhouse.
According to the complaint, Black took cash from Rittenhouse and then on May 1st he drove 300 miles north from Kenosha to a hardware store in upper Wisconsin to buy the assault-style rifle.
Under the law, Rittenhouse was too young to buy it himself.
Less than four months later, investigators say Rittenhouse retrieved the rifle from Black’s stepfather’s house in Kenosha where it was being kept, and carried it while on citizen’s patrol, allegedly to protect a business from looters and arsonists.
“This is very serious for the new defendant, he’s only 19 years old. The law very clearly provides for a six year maximum term of imprisonment for knowingly providing a gun to a minor. And if that gun is used in a homicide, and that happened twice here, same gun two deaths. He’s facing some serious charges,” said ABC 7 legal analyst Gil Soffer.
Rittenhouse claims he killed the two men during Kenosha protests out of self-defense. The man now accused of buying the weapon Rittenhouse used is charged with what’s known as a “straw purchase.”
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“He knew that it couldn’t lawfully be purchased in Rittenhouse’s name, this really is a straw purchase,” Soffer explained. “And the way the law reads it under Wisconsin law, so long as an adult provides a gun to someone he knows isn’t entitled to it, a minor, and so long as that gun is later involved in the death of somebody…then the adult faces these charges.”
Black is charged with two counts of intentionally giving a dangerous weapon to a person under age 18, causing death. His initial court appearance in Kenosha on Monday was brief. Bail put at just $2,500 cash and a preliminary hearing set for 10 days from now.
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