Antioch Police Department / AP
Updated at 10:03 ET
Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old gunman accused of killing protesters in Kenosha, Wis., In August, sent a $ 2 million bail and was released from custody on Friday.
Rittenhouse, who prosecutors say an older friend had bought him a gun, faces five criminal charges of killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz.
The charges include first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
“He was handed over to his own security detail arranged by his lawyer and is no longer in our custody,” said Sgt. David Wright of the Sheriff’s Department said that Kenosha News reported.
Hours after his release, one of his lawyers, Lin Wood, posted a picture of Rittenhouse with actor Ricky Schroder.
“Finally free !!!”, Wood wrote over the smiling photograph, in which the recently released Rittenhouse is wearing a Black Rifle Coffee Company t-shirt.
According to Wood, Schroder and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell played a key role in “putting us over the top.”
In another tweet, Wood called Rittenhouse “a hero.”
“Right by the phone with Kyle. With tears in my eyes, I listened as he thanked the people for your prayers, donations and support … Kyle is a hero.”
Rittenhouse crossed into Wisconsin from Illinois on August 25 after protests erupted after police shot at Jacob Blake, a black man shot several times by Kenosha Police in front of his children. Blake is now paralyzed.
Lawyers representing the Illinois teenager claim he killed Rosenbaum and Huber and wounded Grosskreutz in self-defense. Rittenhouse also told police he was attacked while guarding a business.
Members of a group calling itself the Kenosha Guard sent a call on Facebook to armed volunteers to “defend” the city against what they characterized as violent, left-wing mud.
“Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend our city tonight against the evil thugs?” wrote the group on Facebook. “They are no doubt planning the next part of town to burn tonight.”
It is unclear whether Rittenhouse was attracted to the protests by the Kenosha Guard, but he was one of many armed civilians who came down on the town after the Blake shooting.
His case has become a hotbed between conservatives and Black Lives Matter supporters. As NPR’s Hannah Allam reported:
“On the left, the suspect is portrayed as the embodiment of today’s domestic terrorist threat: a police idol-worshiping wannabe militia who allegedly traveled across state lines to confront protesters with a gun he was not legally allowed to have. Right, teenager’s actions was instantly justified as self-defense, the natural end to ‘democratic cities’ that let radical left-wing extremists plague the streets. “
Allam notes that “social media accounts linked to Rittenhouse portrayed a police booster adapted to ‘Back the Blue’, pro-cop activism that was widely seen as a racist response to Black Lives Matter.”
In an interview published by Washington Post on Thursday, Rittenhouse said he does not regret carrying the AR-15 rifle that night.
“I had to protect myself.”
“I would be dead that night if I did not,” he said.
That Post reports that Rittenhouse paid for the weapon with a check from the coronavirus stimulation program.
During a November 3 hearing, attorneys representing Rosenbaum’s family and Grosskreutz, as well as Huber’s father, had all requested that the shooter’s bail be set at $ 4 million.
Huber’s father, John Huber, said Rittenhouse “has people out there who want to help him, militia organizations that can raise money and end up with him.”
Since his arrest, conservative and Christian groups have raised money to pay for Rittenhouse’s defense.
Before the bond was set at $ 2 million, Justice Commissioner Loren Keating noted the national network of supporters who have taken up Rittenhouse’s case, saying he considered him an aviation risk.
Rittenhouse faces life in prison if convicted.