Joshua Ziminski, 35, and his wife both admitted to detectives that Ziminski fired a “warning shot” into the air on the night of Aug. 25, immediately before Rittenhouse allegedly shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum during a night of riots, according to the New York Post.
Rittenhouse has been charged with first-degree murder, but his attorneys have argued he acted in self-defense.
Ziminski’s admission may prove that Rittenhouse is telling the truth.
Video footage of that night shows Rittenhouse appearing to flee an increasingly agitated mob of rioters until he was cornered in the lot of a car dealership.
In the video, obtained by the New York Times, there appears to be a muzzle flash and gunshot sound coming from Rosenbaum’s direction as Rosenbaum begins to move toward Rittenhouse.
That gunshot was fired by Ziminski, according to Wisconsin detectives.
Authorities now have video evidence that Ziminski was “holding a black handgun” immediately before the attack, and he was also seen walking into the Ultimate Gas Station lot, which is adjacent to the car dealership where Rittenhouse had been cornered.
The video of the shooting shows Rittenhouse turning towards the sound of Ziminski’s gun shot, then turning to see Rosenbaum running at him, and then firing several close-range shots.
Ziminski’s shot was what caused Rittenhouse to believe that his life was in danger, Rittenhouse’s attorneys argued.
This was the “pivotal moment” that led Rittenhouse to believe that he had “no way out,” since he had “no way to know who fired that shot.”
Police arrested Ziminski last week on charges of disorderly conduct and use of a dangerous weapon, according to online court records.
He pleaded not guilty on Friday and was released on a $1,000 cash bond.
His pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 4.