Family members of a man who was one of two people shot and killed when a gunman opened fire during unrest in Kenosha following the shooting of Jacob Blake last month released a statement Friday saying there "was absolutely no justification" for his killing.
Anthony Huber was laid to rest on Sept. 1, his family said in their first public remarks since Huber's fatal shooting.
"Anthony was a hero. He was always quick to help friends, family, and neighbors in need, and so it was no surprise to us to learn that Anthony came to the aid of others on August 25," the statement read. "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."
Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, was shot in the chest after apparently trying to wrest a gun away from Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager from Antioch seen on video carrying a long gun through the streets of Kenosha during the unrest, authorities said.
Prosecutors say Rittenhouse shot and killed Huber and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum during a chaotic protest Aug. 25. They've also accused Rittenhouse of shooting 26-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz, of West Allis, in the arm.
Rittenhouse, who is 17, has been charged with multiple felonies, including two counts of homicide in the deaths. He is awaiting extradition to Wisconsin.
"There was absolutely no justification for Anthony’s murder," Huber's family said in their statement. "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."
According to court documents, Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse through a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him before trying to wrestle his rifle away. Rittenhouse shot him during the struggle and then ran away. Video shows Rittenhouse tripped in the street. As he was on the ground Huber hit him with a skateboard and tried to take his rifle away. Rittenhouse opened fire on him. Grosskreutz then approaches Rittenhouse with his pistol in his right hand. Rittenhouse shot him in the arm and Grosskreutz ran away screaming for a medic.
Video from earlier that night shows police giving Rittenhouse and other armed men water bottles and telling them that they appreciated them. Video shows Rittenhouse walking right by police with his rifle over his shoulder after the shootings even as people yelled that he had just shot people. He was arrested the next day in Illinois. Asked why officers let Rittenhouse leave the scene Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said sometimes police get “tunnel vision.”
The protests began after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, who is Black, in the back seven times as Blake walked away from officers Aug. 23. The shooting sparked days of protests in Kenosha, a city of about 100,000 halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago. Some of the demonstrations turned violent. More than 20 businesses were set on fire.
Rittenhouse isn’t old enough to legally possess a weapon in Wisconsin but his attorneys have argued he acted in self-defense. President Donald Trump has defended Rittenhouse’s actions, a move Huber's family criticized.
"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," the statement read. "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."