The family of Anthony Huber, who was shot to death while protesting police violence last month in Kenosha, released a statement Friday praising him as a hero and expressing disappointment with President Donald Trump for failing to condemn the Illinois teenager charged with Huber’s murder.
“Anthony was a hero...,” the family’s statement said. “He sacrificed his own life to protect innocent civilians who were out that night protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake. While we miss him dearly and wish none of this had happened, we are very proud of him. Without his incredible bravery, many others could have been killed or injured.”
Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Antioch, who was armed with an assault rifle and patrolling the streets of Kenosha alongside militia members the night of Aug. 25, is charged with killing Huber, as well 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum.
A third man was shot in the arm by Rittenhouse, but survived, authorities said.
Cellphone video shows 26-year-old Huber getting shot after attempting to swing his skateboard at Rittenhouse, who’d fallen in the middle of a street while running from protesters who were chasing him.
The protests in Kenosha were sparked after Blake, a Black man, was shot by police officers.
Huber, an avid skateboarder, lived in Kenosha with his girlfriend and her daughter.
“There was absolutely no justification for Anthony’s murder,” Huber’s family’s statement said. “A minor from out of state, illegally armed with an assault rifle, was allowed to roam the streets, threatening numerous civilians, and ultimately shooting three people. After this minor had already shot and killed one person, Anthony selflessly tried to disarm him and was killed himself.”
A few days after the shooting, Trump, speaking from the White House, said of Rittenhouse: “He was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like, and he fell, and then they very violently attacked him...I guess he was in very big trouble. He would have been, he probably would have been killed.”
The statement from Huber’s family said of Trump: “We are deeply disappointed that the President, members of the media, and others have said that Anthony deserved to die for attempting to protect others from a person who had just killed someone. In addition, it has been disturbing to see videos and other information that has come to light suggesting that local police may have permitted and even encouraged armed vigilantes, including Anthony’s killer, to patrol the streets of Kenosha and threaten civilians with firearms....Our nation depends on its leaders to uphold the law and to set the moral tone for its citizens. In America, we celebrate heroes like Anthony who sacrifice for their communities, not armed vigilantes who cause death and chaos in the streets.”
A funeral was held for Huber Sept. 1.
Rittenhouse, who plans on arguing the shootings were in self-defense, is scheduled for a Sept. 25 extradition hearing at the Lake County courthouse.
He was taken into custody in Illinois shortly after the shootings, but faces charges in Wisconsin of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless endangerment.