The parents of one of the two men killed by teenage gunman Kyle Rittenhouse said Friday they were "heartbroken" that a Wisconsin jury had acquitted him of all five charges.
"There was no justice today for Anthony (Huber), or for Mr. Rittenhouse's other victims, Joseph Rosenbaum and Gaige Grosskreutz," Karen Bloom and John Huber said in a statement that was released minutes after the verdict was announced in the Kenosha, Wisconsin, courtroom.
"Today's verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son," Huber's parents said. "It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street."
Calling their slain son a "hero who sacrificed his own life to protect other innocent civilians," the parents vowed to fight on.
"Neither Mr. Rittenhouse nor the Kenosha police who authorized his bloody campaign will escape justice," the parents said. "Anthony will have his day in court."
Rittenhouse, 18, who is from nearby Antioch, Illinois, was charged with reckless homicide in the slaying of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and intentional homicide in the death of Anthony Huber, 26.
The panel also cleared Rittenhouse of attempted intentional homicide for severely wounding Grosskreutz, a 27-year-old paramedic from suburban Milwaukee who was in Kenosha that night volunteering his medical services.
Rittenhouse had gone to Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020, after violent protests erupted over the shooting days earlier of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer.
Huber's parents said that Rittenhouse was answering the "racist and violent calls to action from militia members" and that the "Kenosha police encouraged him to act violently."
"Mr. Rittenhouse came to Kenosha armed to kill," the parents said. "Kenosha police encouraged him to act violently, and our son is dead as a result."
Sam Hall, an attorney representing Kenosha County and Sheriff David Beth, has denied "deputizing" any civilian to help during the disturbances.
Blakes' uncle, Justin Blake, insisted after the verdict was announced that the judge presiding over the case, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder, was in the tank for Rittenhouse.
Schroeder "put his hands on the scales" of justice, Justin Blake said.
Huber's parents said they did not attend the trial "because we could not bear to sit in a courtroom and repeatedly watch videos of our son's murder."
The parents said they were also subjected to "hurtful and nasty comments" from Rittenhouse supporters in the lead-up to a trial that they hoped would "bring us closure."
"That did not happen," they said.