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During the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, prosecutors tried framing Anthony Huber as a hero who tried to stop an active shooter.
The crowd that chased after Rittenhouse the night of Aug. 25, 2020 did not know that Joseph Rosenbaum had been running at the teenager and allegedly tried to take his rifle when he was killed.
Huber’s loved ones believe his actions were heroic in trying to disarm Rittenhouse, who was found not guilty Friday on all counts, including Huber’s fatal shooting.
Now, they are left to face what may be the reality that no one will be convicted for ending the 26-year-old’s life.
“He’s dead. The system is telling me no one needs to answer for that. And I have a problem with that,” Hannah Gittings, Huber’s girlfriend, said at an event Friday evening.
“There is no accountability for the person who murdered our son,” Huber’s parents, Karen Bloom and John Huber, said in a statement Friday. “It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street.”
As the “not guilty” verdicts were read out in court, Gittings, Huber’s great-aunt Susan Hughes and Rosenbaum’s fiancée Kariann Swart, still wearing her engagement ring, held hands and let tears fall in the courtroom.
Minutes after the verdict was read out, Hughes and Gittings walked out of the courthouse through its front doors and were quickly surrounded by cameras and journalists, but did not stop to make statements.
Friday evening, Gittings spoke at an event where she said “We have been (expletive) by this system in every single way.” She spoke of continuing to seek social justice change in the country; Huber had not been an activist, but felt a need to be out in the streets after Jacob Blake was shot by police because he had been a friend of Blake’s.
“All that we can do now is keep moving, keep jumping into action. We need to stand together,” she said while also calling for no violence.
Of Huber’s actions, Hughes told ABC News “I was not at all surprised” that her great-nephew had run after the shooter, that he was the kind of person to jump into action in moments of crisis.
“If he would have gotten that gun away from him, he wouldn’t have shot that kid. Are you kidding me? He’s trying to stop the threat of him hurting anyone else or getting away with it,” Gittings told Wisconsin Public Radio prior to the verdict being announced. She expected the not guilty verdicts, and told WPR “What’s most important is the type of precedent it sets for this type of behavior.”
“He risked and lost his own life trying to stop a shooter from hurting anybody else,” Gittings said after the verdict. She has said she has “sympathy” and “empathy” for Rittenhouse, but is saddened by what she feels is a lack of remorse from the Illinois teenager.
“I never heard him say he was sorry,” Hughes said of Rittenhouse. “'I take responsibility,' that never came out of his mouth. There was just a lot of emotional churning like you see from a child, which just reinforced for me that he was not really emotionally mature enough to handle it and process it.”