Her son shot to national prominence during the summer unrest that hit cities across the country after he killed two Antifa supporters during riots in Kenosha. For many on the Right he has become a folk hero, while for the Left he has become the baby face of violent white supremacy.
But for Wendy Rittenhouse, Kyle is simply her boy, albeit a kid in serious trouble. Nonetheless, she is doubling down on the Right’s narrative that far Left provocation was ultimately to blame for the tragic deaths.
In her first major interview, Wendy Rittenhouse also said that she didn’t even know her teenage son was at the out-of-state rally in the first place.
“No one should have been there … the protesters should not have been there,” single mom-of-three Wendy Rittenhouse told the Chicago Tribune of the Aug. 25 riot in which her son killed two people and blew off a third’s bicep with an illegally obtained rifle.
“My son shouldn’t have been there either,” she said of the 17-year-old who traveled across state lines from home in Illinois amid ongoing unrest following the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake.
Wendy Rittenhouse, however, pointed the finger at police and Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, for failing to crack down on the riots, leading to armed militia groups gathering to try to protect local businesses that were being looted and torched.
“The police should have helped the businesses out instead of having a 17-year-old kid helping him,” she said. “The police should have been involved with these people that lost their businesses. They should have stepped up.”
The mom declined to answer questions about the high-powered rifle her son used, which was illegally given to him by a friend according to prosecutors. However, she did say that she had no problem with teenagers possessing guns.
“I believe in my Second Amendment. I do,” she told the Tribune.
“I’m 100% right to bear arms. If it’s a handgun, a 12-gauge, a 22, AR-15,” she said, saying she “told my son, ‘you have to respect the gun.’ ”
The mom claimed that viral photos and videos of the shooting prove that it was self-defense. “He was in danger,” she insisted of her teen son.
A gun-rights group along with one backing militias have given a combined $100,000 to help with her personal expenses — while a legal defense fund has raised nearly $2 million, her attorney confirmed.
The support dwarfs the $250,000 given to online fundraisers to help the families of the three men who were shot, the paper noted.
The teenage gunman is still being held on $2 million bail for the homicides of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, as well as the attempted homicide of Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, who survived being shot in the arm.
Grosskreutz’s attorney, Kimberley Motley, called it troubling that no one stopped a teenager from going to a protest with a gun during a pandemic.