Double murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse – who is accused of killing two during protests in Wisconsin – is a Donald Trump fanatic who joined a “militia” group when demonstrations broke out.
Details about the 17-year-old – who is believed to have walked past police in the aftermath of the killings despite crowds calling for his arrest – are beginning to emerge.
In the hours before the fatal shootings a teenager, believed to be Rittenhouse, was filmed holding a rifle while boasting: “We don’t have non-lethal (weapons).”
Rittenhouse, who attended a Trump rally in January, had a TikTok account which declared: “Bruh I’m just tryna be famous.”
He was one of a number of heavily-armed vigilantes out on the streets of Kenosha, where protests were held following the shooting of Jacob Blake Jr.
Mr Blake, who is black, was shot seven times in the back as he walked away from officers, leaving him paralysed for life, according to his lawyers.
His family have appealed for calm.
The vigilantes claimed they were out to protect businesses, and members of the group were filmed fist-bumping police on the night of the killings.
One of the victims has been identified as 26-year-old Anthony Huber.
Before the killings, Rittenhouse was accused of threatening protesters at gunpoint
Speaking to right-wing website The Daily Caller on the night of the killings, Rittenhouse claimed he was on the streets to protect businesses and provide medical care.
But he was interrupted by a man who accused him of threatening demonstrators at gunpoint.
Rittenhouse bragged: “People are getting injured. Our job is to protect this business and part of my job is to also help people.
“If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way.”
He claimed the militias were on hand to provide medical care.
But one man then confronted him, saying: “I remember you, you were telling us to get off the car [at this point he made a gun gesture] now you’re talking about medical?”
Rittenhouse sat in the front row of a Trump rally in January
The teenager’s TikTok account had the words “Trump 2020” in his profile, and included footage from a rally earlier this year.
In January Rittenhouse was in the front row as the US President addressed supporters in Des Moines.
The teenager was pictured in the front row to the left of the podium, and posted video from the event.
After the suspect was named in the US media, a Trump spokesman told Buzzfeed News : “President Trump has repeatedly and consistently condemned all forms of violence and believes we must protect all Americans from chaos and lawlessness.
“This individual had nothing to do with our campaign and we fully support our fantastic law enforcement for their swift action in this case.”
He was a former police cadet who supported the ‘Blue Lives Matter’ movement
Rittenhouse’s social media includes numerous references to the pro-law enforcement Blue Lives Matter movement.
It was set up in response to Black Lives Matter protests.
Rittenhouse is a former member of the Public Safety Cadet Programme run by Grayslake Police Department.
The department removed its Facebook page in the aftermath of the double shooting on Tuesday night – but a 2018 photo of a boy in police uniform has circulated online.
It is believed to show a smiling Rittenhouse.
The programme offers youngsters a chance to ride along with officers, as well as firearms training.
It is unclear if Rittenhouse was trained to use a weapon by the police programme.
Militia group says it is not clear if Rittenhouse had answered their calls
A Facebook organisation called the Kenosha Guard earlier called for “patriots” to patrol the town as protests continued.
In a post on Tuesday, the group posted: “Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend out (sic) City tonight from the evil thugs?
“Nondoubt (sic) they are currently planning on the next part of the City to burn tonight!”
It had organised an event branded “Armed Citizens to Protect our Lives and Property”
In a statement following the double killing, the group said: “We are unaware if the armed citizen was answering the Kenosha Guard Militia’s call to arms. Just like with the shooting of Jacob Blake, we need all the facts and evidence to come out before we make a judgement. God Bless and stay safe Kenosha!”
Killer ‘shouted “I just killed somebody”’ on the phone – but wasn’t arrested
Footage circulating on social media appears to show the moment one of the victims is shot dead.
An apparent killer – believed to be Rittenhouse – is seen shouting “I just killed somebody” as he runs away.
And later footage appears to show him approaching officers with his arms in the air while witnesses shout for him to be arrested.
For reasons that have yet to be explained, however, he was not arrested.
Rittenburg was taken into custody in Illinois, where he lives with his mother, and faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide.
He is due to appear in court on Friday.