KENOSHA, Wis. — The girlfriend of the second man killed by Kyle Rittenhouse admitted Thursday that she has “a lot of sympathy” for the teen who she believes got swept up trying to be the “king of the world” during last year’s riots.
But Hannah Gittings, 25, said that she doesn’t buy that Rittenhouse, now 18, was solely out to protect businesses the night that he fatally shot her boyfriend, Anthony Huber, 26, as riots broke out against police brutality in the summer of 2020.
“If these people had just done what they said they were going to be doing, standing outside of the property making sure nobody was ruining these buildings and businesses whatever, that’s cool, but you weren’t,” Gittings told The Post.
“This kid was walking around like hot s–t, looking for a reason to say, ‘Oh I gotta do something about this,’” she said.
Gittings said that she believes that Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, got caught up in the band of vigilantes patrolling the city.
“I do have a lot of sympathy for this kid because he is just a kid to me so it was just like a really dumbass kid who unfortunately became the figurehead for this,” she said.
Gittings said the night of the fatal encounter, she had gone to the protests with Huber, who was a friend of Jacob Blake, the man whose police shooting provoked the riots.
She said that Huber had gone to film and document the civil unrest when he tried to stop Rittenhouse, who was running with an AR-15-style rifle through the streets after he fatally shot his first victim of the night, Joseph Rosenbaum.
After striking Rittenhouse with his skateboard, he was shot and killed by the teen.
His girlfriend said that the events of the fatal evening showed the “difference in character” between the teen and him.
“One of them goes out, taking advantage of a vulnerable situation so that he can live out his fantasy of being king of the world and one of them out there doing absolutely nothing, nothing f–king wrong and being presented with yes, an active shooter situation and leaping into action without a second thought of his own safety,” Gittings said.
Rittenhouse faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted of intentional homicide.
Prosecutors have argued that he instigated the violence that night, while his defense lawyers have claimed that he was acting in self-defense.
Gittings said that she’s been troubled by defense lawyers characterizing Huber as a “rioter” and “looter” in their closing arguments — especially after they successfully petitioned the judge to not allow the proceedings to refer to him as a “victim.”
“There’s no proof of that anywhere, and I was with him that entire night. We were not doing anything like that,” Gittings said.
She said that it’s been “difficult” to watch Rittenhouse on trial over the past two weeks.
“The outcome of this trial, it could go literally anyway in the world, good or bad for us and it still would not change any of this for us,” she said.