Prosecutors announced multiple felony charges against 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in the shooting deaths of two protesters caught on video during the Kenosha, Wisconsin, riots.
Rittenhouse was charged with first degree reckless homicide in the death of Joseph Rosenbaum and first degree intentional homicide in the death of Anthony Huber.
He faces one charge of attempted 1st degree intentional homicide for shooting a third man who survived his injury, and charges of 1st degree recklessly endangering safety, 1st degree recklessly endangering safety, and possession of dangerous weapon.
The charges carry a mandatory life sentence if he is convicted.
The altercation happened as protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake turned to rioting and looting. Many supporters of the protests have used the shooting in order to push a narrative of a white supremacist threat to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Lin Wood, the attorney for Rittenhouse, said that the teen was acting in self-defense and released a statement to the Associated Press.
“From my standpoint, it’s important that the message be clear to other Americans who are attacked that there will be legal resources available in the event false charges are brought against them,” he said. “Americans should never be deterred from exercising their right of self-defense.”
Rittenhouse, who is from Illinois, was captured on other video from the protests prior to the shooting, including one where he tells an interviewer that he came to Kenosha to help protect businesses from looting and rioting.
“Our job is protect this business. And part of my job is to also help people,” he added in the video.
“If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way and that’s why I have my rifle,” he added, “to protect myself obviously.”
The teenager also appeared to participate in the cleaning efforts in the city and was captured in photographs scrubbing graffiti from a schoolhouse.
Here’s a local news video about the tragedy:
Friends ID 2 men killed in Kenosha protest shootings
[Ed. Note: This story has been updated with additional information.]