Kyle Rittenhouse testifies in his own defense

By Mike Hayes, Maureen Chowdhury, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 0220 GMT (1020 HKT) November 11, 2021
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12:37 p.m. ET, November 10, 2021

Judge admonishes prosecutor over Rittenhouse cross-examination


Judge Bruce Schroeder stopped prosecutor Thomas Binger's cross-examination of Kyle Rittenhouse to admonish the prosecution team's line of questioning.

The two had a testy exchange after the judge asked the jury to leave the courtroom.

"Don't get brazen with me," Schroeder told Binger.

The exchange is ongoing.

2:33 p.m. ET, November 10, 2021

Rittenhouse says he chose an AR-15 in part because it "looked cool"

From CNN's Josiah Ryan


Kyle Rittenhouse testified that when he chose a gun for his friend, Dominick Black, to purchase for him, he selected an AR-15 over a pistol because he believed he could not legally possess a pistol, and thought the AR-15 "looked cool."

"So you're telling us that the reason that you wanted Dominic to buy you an AR-15 as opposed to a pistol... the only reason is because you felt you couldn't lawfully possess a pistol?" asked prosecutor Thomas Binger.

"Correct," responded Rittenhouse.

"You didn't pick out the AR-15 for any other reason?" continued Binger.

"I thought it looked cool, but, no," responded Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse then agreed with the prosecutor that he had not purchased the weapon to hunt, or for home protection, again saying he, "thought it looked cool if that's a reason."

Rittenhouse then took issue with the prosecutor's suggestion that he might have chosen the AR-15 because similar weapons appear in first-person shooter video games, saying "there are guns in video games that resemble all guns."

"It's just a video game," he said later in the exchange. "It's not real life."

1:42 p.m. ET, November 10, 2021

Rittenhouse testifies he didn't intend to kill anyone, but agrees he used "deadly force"

From CNN's Mike Hayes


Prosecutor Thomas Binger is now cross-examining defendant Kyle Rittenhouse. The ADA opened his questioning of Rittenhouse by asking, "Everyone you shot at that night you intended to kill, correct?"

"I didn't intend to kill them. I intended to stop the people who were attacking me," Rittenhouse said.

When Binger pressed Rittenhouse that he stopped these people by "killing them," Rittenhouse pushed back, responding, "Two of them passed away, but I stopped the threat from attacking me."

Rittenhouse agreed with Binger that he intentionally used "deadly force" on his victims that night.

"I didn't know if it was going to kill them, but I used deadly force to stop the threat that was attacking me."

The cross-examination is ongoing.

1:42 p.m. ET, November 10, 2021

Rittenhouse testifies that he saw a pistol in shooting victim Gaige Grosskreutz's hand before he shot him

From CNN's Mike Hayes


Kyle Rittenhouse testified that after he fell to the ground, he saw Gaige Grosskreutz standing in front of him. He said that he saw a pistol in Grosskreutz's hand.

"My rifle is down. His hands are up. His pistol is in his hand, and then he looks at me, and that's when he brings his arm his arm is like that with me on the ground and his pistol is pointed at me," Rittenhouse testified.

"That's when I shoot him," he continued.

He said that he shot Grosskreutz once but did not know where he shot him.

Rittenhouse shot Grosskreutz once in his right bicep with his AR-15 rifle. Grosskreutz was the only shooting victim to survive.

Asked by his attorney what happened after he shot Grosskreutz, Rittenhouse said, "He's no longer a threat to me."

12:54 p.m. ET, November 10, 2021

Rittenhouse says Anthony Huber was "holding a skateboard like a baseball bat" when he shot him

From CNN’s Carma Hassan

After shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, Kyle Rittenhouse described running past Anthony Huber toward the police line.

“As I'm running past Mr. Huber, he's holding a skateboard like a baseball bat and he swings it down and I block it with my arm trying to prevent it from hitting me, but it still hits me in the neck. And as I block it, it goes flying somewhere off into the distance,” Rittenhouse said.

He says he got light-headed and fell to the ground.

“As I’m on the ground, there are people around me, I don’t recall how many, but I remember moving my rifle in their direction and they back off besides one person,” Rittenhouse said.  

Rittenhouse said that person jumped at him.

“As his boot is making contact with my face, I fire two shots at him,” Rittenhouse said.

“Why did you shoot at him?” defense attorney Mike Richards asked.

“He would have stomped my face in if I didn’t fire,” Rittenhouse replied. 

Rittenhouse said Huber then ran over and hit him a second time in the neck with a skateboard and grabbed at his gun.

“I can feel the strap starting to come off my body,” Rittenhouse said.

11:53 a.m. ET, November 10, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse describes shooting: "I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself."

From CNN's Mike Hayes


Kyle Rittenhouse said that as he was running, shooting victim Joseph Rosenbaum threw a bag and a chain at him. He said that another person with Rosenbaum told him, "get him, kill him."

Rittenhouse said that he pointed his gun at Rosenbaum, who continued to chase him.

"After he throws the bag and he continues to run, he's gaining speed on me, a gunshot is fired from behind me, directly behind me. I take a few steps, and that's when I turn around. As I'm turning around, Mr. Rosenbaum is ... coming at me with his arms out in front of him. I remember his hand on the barrel of my gun."

Defense attorney Mark Richards asked Rittenhouse, "As you see him lunging at you, what do you do?" 

"I shoot him," he responded.

Asked by his attorney how many times he shot Rosenbaum, he said, "I believe four." 

Rittenhouse said that he continued running with the intention of going to the police.

Asked why he was trying to get to the police, Rittenhouse said, "Because I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself."

11:48 a.m. ET, November 10, 2021

Rittenhouse resumes testimony after breaking down on stand

(Mark Hertzberg/Pool/AP)
(Mark Hertzberg/Pool/AP)

 Kyle Rittenhouse has resumed his testimony following a short recess after he broke down on the stand while he described the night of the shooting.

His mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, was heard sobbing loudly within earshot of jurors, as she watched her son break down crying while testifying on Wednesday, according to the pool reporter.

Someone sitting next to her, put an arm around her trying to console her, according to the pool reporter.

11:42 a.m. ET, November 10, 2021

Rittenhouse's mother heard sobbing loudly in court as he testified, according to pool report

From CNN's Brad Parks

Kyle Rittenhouse's mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, was heard sobbing loudly within earshot of jurors as she watched her son break down crying while testifying on Wednesday, according to the pool reporter. 

Someone sitting next to her put an arm around her trying to console her, according to the pool reporter.

The trial took a brief break after Kyle Rittenhouse broke down on the stand. The court is now back in session, and the defense team is continuing questioning Kyle Rittenhouse.

11:39 a.m. ET, November 10, 2021

Court calls recess after Rittenhouse breaks down while describing night of the shooting


Kyle Rittenhouse — the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer — broke down on the stand as he was questioned about the night of the shooting.

Rittenhouse, who is on trial on homicide charges, is testifying in his own defense. His defense team has argued he acted in self-defense when he opened fire.

The judge called for a brief break after Rittenhouse became emotional.