Dominick Black, 19, was charged with supplying a dangerous weapon to a minor
Police have released tapes of the interview of the friend who admitted to purchasing the gun that 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse used in the fatal shootings of two men in Kenosha, Wisconsin during violent protests there this summer.
Dominick Black, now 19, told police that he had bought the AR-15-style rifle for Rittenhouse at a hardware store and kept it for the teen at his home, planning to transfer ownership when he turned 18.
Rittenhouse was charged with multiple counts of homicide and unlawful possession of a firearm, though he and his attorneys have insisted he acted in self-defense in the August 25 confrontations, saying video proves their case.
In the police interview the day after the shootings, Black told investigators that Rittenhouse was ‘freaking out’ and feared spending the rest of his life in prison, according to the video released after a FOIA request by the Chicago Tribune.
‘The dude’s sweating like a pig. He’s just freaking out. His face is white,’ Black said in the police interview. ‘He’s like, ‘I’m going to jail for the rest of my life. I’m done.’ (He’s) just scared.’
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was charged with multiple counts of homicide and unlawful possession of a firearm, though he and his attorneys have insisted he acted in self-defense
Dominick Black is seen entering the police interview room on August 26
Black said that he and Rittenhouse had gone out to help a friend protect a car dealership, after the business owner feared it would be destroyed following two nights of looting and arson during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man.
He said he spent much of the night on the roof of the building, while Rittenhouse was on the ground, and was apprehensive about the 17-year-old carrying the rifle.
‘I don’t know why … the whole time I’m thinking, ‘he’s not 18,’ he told police. ‘In my head, like, I could have stopped it. But I know if I would have told him ‘no,’ he would have threw a fit.’
Black said he heard shots and then Rittenhouse called him to say he’d shot someone. He watched as Rittenhouse tried to turn himself in to police, and then met the younger teen in a building after cops waved him away.
The two decided to leave the area to avoid further violence, Black said.
‘It was like, ‘you know what, we’re gonna get in my car, we’re gonna drive out of here before anything bad else happens to you, and we’re just gonna go back home and you’re gonna go to the police station,’ Black said.
Kenosha County prosecutors say Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded a third man Gaige Grosskreutz on the streets of Kenosha on August 25
Black was apprehensive about his own legal situation, although the detective interviewing him insisted that he was not investigating the gun’s provenance.
‘Dude, I think I’m gonna be in more trouble than you because you defended yourself,’ Black said he told Rittenhouse. ‘In all reality, you are not supposed to have that gun. That gun was in my name.’
Black was later charged with two felony counts of illegally providing a minor with a firearm, one count for each man who died.
Police first met Black at the Rittenhouse family’s apartment in Antioch, Illinois where he told them he had the rifle that Rittenhouse used in the trunk of his car and turned it over.
Rittenhouse has been charged with multiple counts, including intentional homicide and illegally possessing a gun.
The complaint alleges that Rittenhouse used the rifle to fatally shoot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wound a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz.
His attorneys contend he was acting in self-defense. The case has become a political flashpoint, with conservatives and gun rights groups rallying to support Rittenhouse, and liberals condemning the teen.
Rittenhouse is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the killing of two protesters: Joseph Rosenbaum (left) and Anthony Huber (right)
Video shows that Rittenhouse tripped in the street before 26-year-old Anthony Huber hit him with a skateboard and tried to take his rifle away. Rittenhouse opened fire, killing Huber
Rittenhouse then shot and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who was holding a handgun at the time, as he approached the teenager
In a jailhouse interview with the Washington Post published on Thursday, Rittenhouse revealed that he had paid for the rifle with money from a government stimulus check.
The money came through after he had been furloughed from his job as a YMCA lifeguard due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rittenhouse said.
Rittenhouse said the stimulus check amounted to $1,200. Rifles of the type he bought retail anywhere from $700 to $2,000.
Wisconsin state law does allow minors to shoot target practice under adult supervision, but they are prohibited from owning or publicly carrying firearms unless they are hunting.
Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with killing two people and injuring another during demonstrations on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, is seen in court last month
Rittenhouse said he did not regret bringing a gun on the night of the shootings. ‘I feel I had to protect myself,’ Rittenhouse said. ‘I would have died that night if I didn’t.’
Police also interviewed Rittenhouse, his mother and two sisters on August 26. Video of the interview with his older sister Faith was also released on Friday.
Much of Faith Rittenhouse’s 35-minute interview is inaudible as she speaks in a soft voice. She said she first learned of the shooting on social media.
She said her brother told his family he had no choice but to open fire.
‘We asked what happened and he said, ‘I was getting attacked and so I had to shoot,’ she told the detective.
Kyle Rittenhouse is being held in Kenosha in lieu of $2 million bail.