Kyle Rittenhouse is going to college to become a nurse and wants to lead as “normal a life as possible” after being acquitted of all charges in his homicide trial, according to his family’s spokesperson.
David Hancock, spokesperson for the family of Mr Rittenhouse, told Fox6 that people will “see some good things come out of Kyle in the future”, describing him as a “pragmatic young man who has been through a lot”.
“Mr Rittenhouse can be an 18-year-old young man,” he said, adding that he is studying nursing at Arizona State University.
“We are going to do everything we can to make sure he can live as normal a life as possible.”
Mr Hancock said that Mr Rittenhouse and his mother Wendy Rittenhouse left the courthouse by a back door in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as soon as the verdict was read out.
The spokesperson said it had been a “long road” but there was a great “relief” among the family, as Ms Rittenhouse was seen breaking down in tears as her son was acquitted.
Mr Hancock said the mother had spent the last year hearing her son be “defamed” and “assaulted” with “untrue things and comments and assumptions” and that there was “never a doubt” that he would take the stand to show that he was not “a racist or a white supremacist”.
However, Mr Hancock said that, despite the verdict in the courtroom, “there are no winners” in the case that has divided America.
“There are no winners in this but I think this is an opportunity to have some discussions,” he said, explaining that he believes the outcome is an opportunity “to bridge the divide” in the country.
“There was a lot of things that infected this case like politics,” he said.
“This is an inflection point for this country that we should try to bridge the divide right now and we should try to come together.
“I think this is a moment that the country can use to get united, to try to get united, to sit across the table.”
Mr Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all five charges in his homicide trial for shooting dead two men and seriously wounding a third during a night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer.
The jury returned its verdict on Friday afternoon after spending four days deliberating on the charges.
The teenager was seen shaking and sobbing, before collapsing into his seat when he learned that he was being acquitted on all charges.
Mr Rittenhouse was charged with five felony counts of first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of recklessly endangering safety in the first degree.
The teenager, who was 17 at the time, travelled from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, Wisconsin on 24 August 2020 amid protests over the police shooting of Black man Jacob Blake.”
He shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and also shot Gaige Grosskreutz who survived.
His case divided the nation, particularly along partisan lines.
Mr Rittenhouse claimed he acted in self defence after he was attacked by a mob. The prosecution claimed that Mr Rittenhouse provoked the violence and then used deadly force.
This article was amended on 2 December 2021. It originally said that Mr Rittenhouse had a rifle with him when he travelled from Antioch to Kenosha. This was not the case. He also made the journey on 24 August 202, and not the following day, as was originally stated.