Kyle Rittenhouse loved cops, guns, President Trump, and “triggering the libs,” according to some of his former classmates at Lakes Community High School in Lake County, Illinois. His clothes were often branded with pro-police slogans, and he carried a Blue Lives Matter phone case, one student said.
Some of his classmates joked that he’d be a mass shooter one day. “I personally believe he went to Wisconsin with the intent to kill,” said one former classmate, who asked not to be identified out of fear for their safety.
While Rittenhouse was only enrolled at Lakes Community High School for the 2017 to 2018 academic year, he left an impression. Students reached by VICE News described him as short-tempered and easily offended.
“When he got mad or offended he would always say he could ‘fuck me up,’ but everyone would just laugh because he was like a 5-foot-4 chubby freshman boy who we thought wasn’t capable of harm,” said Joe, who’s a minor and asked that his full name not be used.
Rittenhouse was also known as a “ride or die” Trump supporter. “If you said anything bad about Trump, he’d threaten you,” Joe said. In January, Rittenhouse even traveled to Iowa, where he had front row seats at a Trump rally, Buzzfeed reported. “Kyle was the type of kid to wear a MAGA hat or other apparel just for attention, or to “trigger” people,” Joe added.
Another one of Rittenhouse’s classmates said he used to refer to the school, located in a Chicago suburb, as “libtard af.”
“Kyle was kind of shy from what I remember, but he was definitely in your face and pushed his views hella,” they said. “Like one of those kids that liked ‘triggering libtards.’”
“He went to middle school with my little sister and she said that everyone always thought of him to be a possible future shooter,” said Joe, “and so did I when I met him in high school.”
Rittenhouse made no secret that he’d traveled to Kenosha on Tuesday. He posted on Snapchat about Blake, the father of six, whose lawyers say he was shot by police while trying to break up a domestic dispute. Rittenhouse posted Blake’s mugshot from a prior arrest with the caption “lol, he’s innocent.”
Social media linked to Rittenhouse also showed his affinity for Blue Lives Matter and the Back the Blue movements, which in recent months has inspired the presence of pro-cop vigilante groups at civil rights protests.
On Tuesday night, Rittenhouse joined up with a crew of pro-cop vigilantes and militiamen who had been standing guard by a gas station. He was shown on video palling around with police officers, who thanked him for being there and gave him a bottle of water — even though it was after the 8 p.m. curfew.
Hours later, after a confrontation between protesters and militia men, Rittenhouse opened fire, according to bystander video from the scene.
First he allegedly killed a protester, by shooting him in the head. Then he tried to run away, while talking on the phone: “I’ve just killed someone,” he said in video captured on a cell phone.
A crowd of protesters then chased Rittenhouse down a street, a scene captured from multiple angles on cell phones. He tripped, fell, and just as two protesters came toward him, he sat up, aimed, and opened fire. He appeared to shoot one person in the chest, killing them, and injured a second with a bullet to the arm.
Then Rittenhouse stood up and walked away in the direction of the armored police vehicles which were approaching the scene in response to reports of gunfire. Video shows him with his hands up, rifle clearly displayed, in apparent surrender. Police drove right past him. (Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth later tried to defend police’s inaction: “In situations that are high-stress, you have such incredible tunnel vision,” he said.)
There is more at the link above. But if I am reading the dates correctly he basically dropped out of school about age 15, was not well like by most kids, he was a radicalized fascist who was also a racist and a bigot. He seems to have gyrated towards authority figures and those in power. He probably fantasized that power made you like, respected, and gave a person over the top authority. I have often felt that people such as this kid and adults who support trump do so because they wish they could say and do the outrageous things tRump does and get away with it. They like how tRump bullies and mistreats reporters and others because they want the power to do that to other people, to just shout them down and call them names. They have learned the wrong lessons from tRump and we will have to deal with them for generations to come. Hugs