Anthony Huber was one of the two men shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after protests and riots erupted in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
His loved ones say he died a hero while trying to take down a shooter and that he was known for having a passion for skateboarding.
However, Huber was wielding a skateboard against Rittenhouse, an act captured in dramatic videos and photos. He also had a serious criminal history. You can see photos of all of this later in the story, but be aware that they are graphic and disturbing.
Even the criminal complaint said he was trying to grab Kyle Rittenhouse’s gun, and Huber’s skateboard made contact with Rittenhouse, when Rittenhouse opened fire. Rittenhouse’s defense team presented a photo during the trial that they said showed Huber with a hand on Rittenhouse’s gun; they argued that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense, and the jury agreed, finding Rittenhouse not guilty of all charges against him, including Huber’s death.
That doesn’t mean that Huber did not BELIEVE he was trying to stop an active shooter because he may not have seen what happened with the first shooting down the road, of Joseph Rosenbaum. However, under Wisconsin law, what matters in a self-defense claim is what the DEFENDANT believes, not the person he shot. The jury needed to find that Rittenhouse reasonably believed he was in danger of imminent death or great bodily harm when he fired.
Rittenhouse, then 17, was an Antioch, Illinois, teenage supporter of police who filled his Facebook page with pictures of guns and police advocacy.
Loved ones organized a vigil in Huber’s name at a local skate park as word of his death spread. “#skateforhuber show up for this man. don’t let how much he impacted your life go unshown,” his partner, Hannah Gittings, wrote on Facebook. His family has vowed to continue their fight in civil court since the acquittal.
The unrest sparked after Blake, 29, was shot and paralyzed by a Kenosha police officer. The local district attorney later cleared the officer in that shooting.
Here’s what you need to know about the life and death of Anthony Huber::
1. Huber Was Remembered as Smart, Kind & a Semi Professional Skateboarder
Huber was a talented skateboarder. “He was a well-loved skater in #Kenosha and he leaves behind his partner and his young child,” one comment writer described.
“This is 26-year old Anthony Huber, one of the victims shot dead last night in #Kenosha during the protests and chaos that ensued,” journalist Pari Cruz wrote, sharing the above photo.
“His partner says he was the smartest, kindest, loving man she ever knew. She told me he was an amazingly talented skater, went semi pro in his early teens. They’re honoring his memory by asking people to skate in his honor at Basik Skate Park in Kenosha. #Wisconsin #SkateForHuber #RIP.”
Susan Hughes, Huber’s great aunt, told the Today show, “I want Anthony to be remembered as a person who really was just trying to get on with his life after some early difficult years, and was making real, real progress in that regard.” She testified in court about his love of skateboarding.
“No verdict will be able to bring back the lives of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum or heal Gaige Grosskreutz’s injuries just as no verdict can heal the wounds or trauma experienced by Jacob Blake and his family,” Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said in a statement after the verdicts.
A Washington Post article said that Huber and Jacob Blake knew each other; they had “friends in common and had smoked marijuana together,” so he wanted to join the protests.
Police had responded to a 911 call from a woman who wanted help. Blake was wanted on a sexual assault warrant at the time, had a knife, and resisted arrest, in addition to trying to take off in a car that wasn’t his with young children, the DA said when he cleared the officer, whose shooting of Blake was captured in a viral video.
Huber wanted to document the protests because he was upset by police shootings, The Post reported.
According to the Post, Huber had a troubled upbringing, telling his girlfriend, Hannah Gittings, and other friends that his mother “was a hoarder,” which caused him “constant stress.” He had bipolar disorder. He met his girlfriend at a local bar and had used heroin, but was sober for seven years. Still, he was using a vape pen with a psychedelic.
He had a hard time finding employment once being released from prison, the Post wrote. For a time, they slept on friends’ couches; he helped her stay off heroin, the Post reported. He skated to get out of “that disgusting house,” Gittings told The Post about the hoarding.
But then Huber’s uncle, who owned it, let Huber stay in it temporarily after his mother was evicted. They cleaned thre residence out, and he considered this a moment of “redemption,” she told the Post.
2. Graphic, Disturbing Photos Show the Moment Rittenhouse Shot Huber
It was that skateboard that defense attorneys for Rittenhouse said Huber used as a potentially deadly weapon to stop Rittenhouse. Prosecutors argued the crowd, including Huber, had a right to stop an “active shooter.”
Here’s how it unfolded: Rittenhouse shot and killed Rosenbaum, who had chased him into the corner of a car lot and was, a witness testified, lunging for his gun in an attempt to get it, at very close range. Then he ran down the street (trial testimony indicated that Huber hit him with his skateboard for the first time here), fell, and was approached by multiple people. Huber is seen on video and in photos rushing Rittenhouse, hitting him with a skateboard for a second time, and trying to get his gun. Rittenhouse then opened fire, shooting him in the chest. Huber collapsed and died in the street. Rittenhouse was then approached by Gaige Grosskreutz, who testified he pointed a gun at Rittenhouse while advancing at close range. Rittenhouse shot him in the bicep, but Grosskreutz lived.
Here are more photos from the scene.
The shootings erupted the evening of August 25 as demonstrators and counter-demonstrators milled in the streets and were pushed back from a park and courthouse by authorities. A series of clashes unfolded, and then arson fires. Multiple small businesses were destroyed by arsonists during riots in the days before.
3. A GoFundMe to Help Huber’s Partner Describes Him as a Hero Who Stood Up for a Cause
The GoFundMe says that Huber stood up for a cause he believed in.
“Hannah Gittings was Anthony Huber’s partner,” it reads. “On Tuesday 8/26 Anthony decided to use his voice and stand up for a cause that meant something. While peacefully protesting Anthony selflessly tried to Aid in taking down an attacker when he was gunned down. Anthony leaves behind a significant other and a step daughter who need our help. They are in need of money very fast. she can’t retrieve her house or car keys from his body or see him until they find a funeral home and pay for it. Please help if you can. Anthony was a hero.” The page has raised more than $11,000. We reached out to Gittings to see if she wanted to say more about Huber.
Photos on Rittenhouse’s mother’s Facebook page show him in what appears to be a police cadet uniform and a firefighter’s uniform. The picture contains the words, “We Black the Blue” and a heart with a thin blue line flag in it.
A now deleted Facebook post indicates Rittenhouse was part of the Grayslake-Lindenhurst-Hainesville Public Safety Cadet Program in 2017. A photo shows Kyle Rittenhouse participating in a program for youths who showed an interest in law enforcement. Heavy has contacted the PD there for comment. Screenshots from Rittenhouse’s Facebook page shows that his profile picture indicated support for Blue Lives Matter. It shows Rittenhouse holding a large weapon with the words blue lives matter in a circle around him. His Facebook cover photo showed him with a large weapon. The photos are filled with law enforcement graphics, some honoring fallen officers and others showing a thin blue line flag. The page has been deleted.
After the verdict, Gittings told the media, according to CNN, “I don’t think that any of us who were directly involved in what happened last year on the 25th are really that surprised. We know that this system is a failure. Personally, I am especially not surprised at the outcome of this verdict.”
4. Huber’s Parents Decried the Verdicts, Saying There Was ‘No Accountability’ for Rittenhouse
Huber’s parents were very upset by the not guilty berdict.
“There was no justice today for Anthony (Huber), or for Mr. Rittenhouse’s other victims, Joseph Rosenbaum and Gaige Grosskreutz,” Karen Bloom and John Huber said in a statement to NBC News.
“Today’s verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son,” Huber’s parents said. “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.”
Huber’s Facebook page contained a photo with the words “fake news” written on it showing President Donald Trump as a frog (a frog symbol is a symbol used for white supremacists at times.) Another meme read, “Tax this dick fedboy.”
Other photos show him with his girlfriend. In May, he made his Facebook photo a cat with a beer cap on its head. There isn’t much else visible on his social media.
According to The New York Times, Huber’s parents have a pending lawsuit in federal court from August 2021 against Kenosha law enforcement agencies. They allege that law enforcement allowed people like Rittenhouse to “patrol the streets, armed with deadly weapons, to mete out justice as they saw fit,” and of actively enabling and conspiring with them.” They label Huber as a hero. The city and county have denied the allegations.
5. Huber Had a Serious Criminal History
Anthony Huber also had a criminal history.
Court records in Wisconsin show that Huber was convicted of disorderly conduct in 2018 as a domestic abuse repeater. It was a misdemeanor. He was cited for possessing drug paraphernalia.
His most serious case came when he was found guilty of a felony for strangulation and suffocation, domestic abuse. He was also convicted in that case of felony false imprisonment with a dangerous weapon, domestic abuse.
A charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety was dismissed and read-in, as was a charge of battery and two charges of disorderly conduct. He was ordered not to possess weapons and no contact orders were issued.
In court, Rittenhouse’s defense attorney Corey Chirafisi gave more details about the case. It turns out it involved his brother.
“[Anthony] Huber told his brother that if he didn’t start cleaning a room in his house he was going to gut him like a pig,” Chirafisi said in court adding, The New York Post reported, that Huber “did this while holding a 6-inch butcher’s knife to the brother’s stomach.”
“Huber grabbed his brother by the neck, dug his nails in and choked him for approximately ten seconds,” Chirafisi said. “He put a knife to his brother’s left ear and his brother felt it cut.” The defense attorney said that Huber said: “I’m going to burn the house down with all you f***ers in it.” NPR reported he also kicked his sister in another incident.
In the 2012 strangulation case, other charges – for second-degree recklessly endangering safety, battery, and disorderly conduct – were dismissed but read in.
There were no contact orders in those cases and he was ordered not to possess weapons.