Where protesters go, armed militias, vigilantes likely to follow

Prosecutors say Kyle Rittenhouse, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, killed two people and injured another person on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, when he opened fire Aug. 25 during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Wisconsin law stipulates that the minimum age for legal armed carry is 18. Even though Rittenhouse is just 17, he stood that night with other armed civilians who declared that they were out protecting property.

It remains unclear whether he was part of a formal militia group. In an interview with the conservative news website the Daily Caller earlier that day, Rittenhouse, who is from the Illinois, laid out way he was in Kenosha. “So people are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business, and a part of my job is to also help people,” Rittenhouse said, without specifying any authority to do so. “If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle because I need to protect myself, obviously. But I also have my med kit.”