Wisconsin authorities have identified the two men who were allegedly shot dead by a 17-year-old earlier this week during a protest in Kenosha over the shooting of Jacob Blake by police.
The two men, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, were killed Tuesday when they tried to intervene during the alleged shooting rampage by the teenager. A third man, Gaige P. Grosskreutz, was also wounded in the attack.
Cellphone videos from the demonstration Tuesday night showed Rosenbaum approaching the teen, who was carrying an AR-15 style rifle, according to the charging documents, and Rosenbaum appeared to throw a plastic bag at him before the latter opened fire. Rosenbaum was struck several times.
After the shooting, people followed the teen, identifying him as the shooter to authorities, the documents said. Among them was Huber, who was carrying a skateboard in one hand and trying to grab the teen’s gun with the other. The teen opened fire, killing Huber, the documents said.
In an interview Thursday, Huber’s friend Tim Kramer, 26, called him a hero — someone who saw a shooter and put his life on the line to try and stop him.
“Maybe Huber wasn't the smartest for attacking someone with a gun, but his heart was pure and had good intentions,” Kramer said. “He did not deserve to die.”
Kramer met Huber in middle school in Kenosha and recalled that his skateboard “was an extension of his body.”
“I have never seen him without it,” he said. “He wasn’t career-oriented. He just wanted to skate.”
Kramer, who moved to Racine to work as a press operator, said he hadn’t been in touch with Huber lately, but he never knew him to be an activist. Nor does he believe Huber was involved in any of the violence or property destruction that have accompanied the protests.
“That is not his character,” he said.
According to an online fundraiser, Huber left behind a stepdaughter and a girlfriend.
Rosenbaum was from Waco, Texas, according to his Facebook profile, and was engaged to be married. According to the profile, he studied at Pima Community College, in Tucson, Arizona, and started working at Wendy’s in Kenosha last year.
Several images posted to Rosenbaum’s page showed him with his fiancée and young daughter.
In an interview with NBC News, Shirley Ann Eubank, Rosenbaum’s aunt, called him a “precious young man.”
“I loved him dearly,” she said. “He was like a son to me. It is so very sad that this country has gotten so out of control.”
Grosskreutz, who had been volunteering as a medic at the protests and was carrying a gun, according to the documents, was shot in the arm. NBC affiliate WTMJ reported that he had undergone surgery and is recovering.
The teen, Kyle Rittenhouse, was charged Thursday with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Rosenbaum and first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Huber. He also faces a charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide for the wounding of Grosskreutz.
At a news conference Thursday, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes described Rittenhouse as an “outside agitator” who fired on peaceful protesters.
He “came in from Illinois with a long rifle and was able to just walk the streets, freely, like that’s something normal we should just come to expect,” Barnes said.
“We shouldn’t accept it,” he added. “Because what do you think is going to happen if you have an agitated man with a long gun walking down the streets thinking that he’s some sort of peacekeeper?”
A lawyer for Rittenhouse, who was also charged with reckless endangerment and a misdemeanor count of possession of a dangerous weapon under the age of 18, described the shooting as “classic self-defense.”
“We will obtain justice for Kyle no matter how hard the fight or how long it takes,” John Pierce said in a statement.