Prosecutors Finally Catch the Man Who Fired the First Shot Near Kyle Rittenhouse at Kenosha Riots

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

It took prosecutors mere hours to depict 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse as a racist, murderous monster for shooting three men at the Kenosha riots in late August. And it took prosecutors weeks to finally charge the rioter who started the shooting in the first place.


Prosecutors apparently have finally gotten around to watching the copious video footage of the shootings at the Kenosha riots, which Rittenhouse’s attorneys believe shows the 17-year-old boy reasonably felt in fear for his life and acted defensively while being actively attacked by rioters.

Wisconsin Right Now reports that protest rioter Joshua Ziminski was initially charged with multiple counts and admitted to shooting a “warning shot” into the air. Now, the charges have been reduced to one; a charge of “disorderly conduct with the use of a dangerous weapon modifier.”

Joshua Ziminski “was holding a black handgun, which he was holding in his left hand, pointing downward. Detective Howard reports that in reviewing multiple other videos, he was able to see the defendant and Kelly Ziminski [his wife], in and around multiple other people on the streets, and the defendant was seen holding the handgun down at his side in said videos.”

It appears Ziminski’s aim that night was to stir up chaos. The 6’5″ bearded man appears in the video towering over others gathered at a scrum of people near Joseph Rosenbaum, who was later shot by Rittenhouse.

Things escalated. Video shows that Ziminsky, who had scrapes with police before, including domestic violence, openly carried a loaded pistol and at one point raised his arm into the air and fired the gun. The muzzle flash could be seen on video. Both he and his wife, who was with him at the riot and who appeared at various places in videos, admitted that he had fired the weapon. Video also shows them quickly leaving after he fired the shot.

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Indeed, the New York Post reports that the 17-year-old boy’s attorney believes the rioters grew upset that Rittenhouse was trying to defend a mechanic’s shop that they’d come to destroy.

[As] Rittenhouse “proceeded towards the second mechanic’s shop, he was accosted by multiple rioters who recognized that he had been attempting to protect a business the mob wanted to destroy. This outraged the rioters and created a mob now determined to hurt Kyle. They began chasing him down. Kyle attempted to get away, but he could not do so quickly enough. Upon the sound of a gunshot behind him, Kyle turned and was immediately faced with an attacker lunging towards him and reaching for his rifle. He reacted instantaneously and justifiably with his weapon to protect himself, firing and striking the attacker.”

The Post reports that Rittenhouse’s attorney believes that was the pivotal moment when the 17-year-old boy believed he was trapped by the mob, since rioters rushed at him and a shot had been fired.

Attorneys for Rittenhouse have called the gunshot a “pivotal moment” that left the 17-year-old alleged militia member fearing he had “no way out” as he was chased by protesters with “no way to know who fired that shot.”

On-the-scene reporter Richie McGinniss has also said the sound of the shot was the moment Rittenhouse “went from running away to aiming his weapon” in what the teen’s attorneys insist was self-defense.


Rittenhouse’s attorneys deny any characterization of his being in a militia.

Video in the tweet below shows the attacks and Rittenhouse’s response.

During the riot, Rittenhouse was chased, hit on the head multiple times, jumped from behind, and had a gun pulled on him by the men he shot.

The gunshot was heard on clips as Rittenhouse tried to defend himself before Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, was shot dead, the teen’s lawyers have said.

Rittenhouse was then attacked as he fled, and Anthony Huber, 26, was shot dead, and Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, seriously wounded after being shot in the arm.

Rittenhouse has already beaten one charge against him. His home state of Illinois announced it dropped efforts to charge him with a gun crime since he never brought the gun into the state. The gun reportedly belonged to a friend. Wisconsin is still considering gun possession charges against him and is also pursuing two counts of murder against him.

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