As the State of Illinois drops charges against 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, another man has been charged for firing the first shots in the deadly incident that took place during the August 25 riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Joshua Ziminski, a 35-year-old man from Racine, is now facing disorderly conduct and use of a dangerous weapon charges for firing a handgun- and event that took place mere seconds before Rittenhouse opened fire with an AR-15.
A resident of Illinois, Rittenhouse had been volunteering in Kenosha, where he also worked as a lifeguard. After cleaning up graffiti earlier in the day, Rittenhouse volunteered to provide fire suppression and medical assistance during the riots that took place after dark, as several buildings and other properties had been set alight.
For defensive purposes, Rittenhouse was armed with an entry-level AR-15, which had been loaned to him by a Wisconsin resident he was friends with .
Reportedly confused for another individual while he was putting out fires and providing aid, Rittenhouse was pursued by 36-year-old convicted child predator Joseph Rosenbaum, one of several rioters he would encounter that night.
As Rosenbaum pursued Rittenhouse, Ziminski is alleged to have fired a “warning shot” into the air. While it should be noted that warning shots are illegal in almost every jurisdiction in the United States, Ziminski denies shooting at anyone in particular.
Many who watched the footage of the incident, including Rittenhouse’s attorney, Lin Wood, believe that Ziminski’s warning shot prompted a disoriented Rittenhouse to fire upon Rosenbaum as the latter attempted to take his rifle. Rosenbaum would succumb to his wounds at the scene.
Attempting to get to the police defensive line in order to turn himself in, Rittenhouse was pursued by several individuals, with many verbally encouraging others in the mob to kill him.
During his sprint down the road, Rittenhouse was attacked by rioter Anthony Huber and other individuals. After being struck in the head with a skateboard, Rittenhouse fatally shot Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, who appears to have approached Rittenhouse in a feigned surrender attempt before producing a weapon.
Grosskreutz lost much of his bicep in the encounter after Rittenhouse again opened fire. Later, a friend of Grosskreutz reported that the man lamented having missed his chance to kill the 17-year-old.
Rittenhouse would eventually reach the police defensive line, but was instructed to leave the area. He would return home and turn himself in the following day.
According to Fox News, local detectives met with Ziminski and his wife on October 7, and both parties admitted to Ziminski firing his weapon. The couple also reported that the firearm had been “stolen” from their home several days prior.
Ziminski pleaded not guilty to the charges against him Friday and was released on $1,000, according to records. A court hearing has been scheduled for December 4.
Rittenhouse, who is currently in a Juvenile Detention facility in Illinois, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and several other criminal charges.
The 17-year-old, whose attorneys have stated acted in self-defense, is facing extradition to Wisconsin.
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