A teenager accused of killing two people and injuring a third at a Kenosha protest has been released from jail with the help of some famous friends.
Kyle Rittenhouse was released from a Wisconsin jail Friday afternoon after his attorneys posted $2 million in bail—collected through donations, including money from "Silver Spoons" and “NYPD Blue” actor Ricky Schroder and My Pillow inventor Mike Lindell.
“FREE AT LAST!!!,” Rittenhouse’s attorney L. Lin Wood posted on Twitter hours later alongside a photo of a smiling Rittenhouse alongside Schroder and attorney John Pierce.
Rittenhouse had been in custody for the last two-and-a-half months on murder charges after shooting three men with an AR-15 style rifle during a Kenosha, Wisconsin protest on Aug. 25—killing two of the men and injuring the third, according to The Chicago Tribune.
The protesters had gathered to demonstrate their outrage over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who had been shot multiple times by white police officer Rusten Sheskey days earlier. Blake survived the shooting but has been left paralyzed.
Rittenhouse, 17, had aligned himself that night with a group of armed militia who said their goal was to protect life and property during the protests, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported shortly after his arrest.
He claimed to have acted in self-defense when he shot and killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, 26. The third victim, Gaige Grosskreutz, was shot in the arm and survived.
In the months after the shootings, the teen has been embraced by conservatives who view him as a patriot who exercised his right to bear arms during civil unrest, The Associated Press reports.
A legal defense team set up on behalf of the 17-year-old has already raised millions of dollars.
In recent weeks, his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, has also made public pleas in the media to raise money for his bail and attorneys Pierce and Wood have used their social media platforms to solicit the monetary donations.
Wood thanked Schroder and Lindell in an earlier tweet Friday for “putting us over the top.”
But the families of the men who were killed voiced their frustrations at Rittenhouse’s release.
“He has people out there who will help him, organizations, militia groups raising money for his defense right now,” Hubert’s father, John Hubert told WBBM-TV.
John Hubert said it made him afraid to think of Rittenhouse back on the streets.
“He thinks he’s above the law,” he said. “He’s been treated as such by law enforcement. He believes he’s justified in the case, and for him to run wouldn’t surprise me.”
Grosskreutz’s attorney Kimberley Motley told The Chicago Tribune that she was also disappointed to learn of his release Friday.
“Two people died. My client nearly died and nearly lost his arm due to Rittenhouse’s reckless behavior,” she told the outlet.” “I do believe that (Rittenhouse) is a danger to the public.”
She had argued in an earlier online court hearing that the teen’s bail should have been set at $4 million.
It’s unclear where Rittenhouse will stay as he awaits trial. At the time of the shooting, he had been living with his mother in Antioch, Illinois but she later moved to an undisclosed location over safety concerns, the local paper reports.
Rittenhouse is facing charges including intentional homicide, reckless endangerment and being a minor in possession of a firearm.
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