KENOSHA — A Racine man was charged after he admitted to detectives that he fired a 'warning shot' on the same night that Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha.
Joshua J. Ziminski, 35, was charged with disorderly conduct, use of a dangerous weapon in Kenosha County Court. If convicted, Ziminski could face up to 90 days behind bars or a $1,000 fine.
According to a criminal complaint, detectives with the Kenosha Police Department were assigned to investigate the fatal shootings of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber by 17-year-old Rittenhouse, who was charged with homicide last month.
But their investigation did not lead them to evidence on Rittenhouse, but on another man, Ziminski.
The complaint states the detectives found videos showing Ziminski holding a gun on the night of Aug. 25, and in another instance, near the Ultimate Gas Station lot, raising the gun into the air and firing a single shot. Detectives say a single muzzle flash could be seen in one of the videos.
Ziminski's wife, Kelly, stood next to him. Several other people were in the area when he fired the shot, prosecutors say.
The detectives eventually were able to schedule an interview with the couple. Both admitted to them that Ziminski had fired a 'warning shot' into the air on the night of Aug. 25, according to the complaint.
The couple further stated that the firearm Ziminski used that night had since been stolen from their residence, several days before the interview with detectives.
Attorneys for Kyle Rittenhouse have argued in a video posted to social media that the gunshot fired by Ziminski was the first shot fired that night, before Rittenhouse opened fire on protesters. Prosecutors in Ziminski's criminal complaint did not confirm this.
Lawyers for Rittenhouse argue he wasn’t just a scared teenager acting in self-defense but that he was a 'courageous defender of liberty.' Prosecutors, on the other hand, argue that Rittenhouse shot and killed two protesters after one of the victims, Joseph Rosenbaum, threw a plastic bag at him, and missed.
Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and attempted intentional homicide, in the wounding of a third protester.
Ziminski will be back in Kenosha County Court on Dec. 4 for his pre-trial conference.