Fox News Host Tucker Carlson is facing backlash Thursday over comments about Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting deaths of two people at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
"Are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?" Carlson said on his show.
Social media erupted with criticism following his comments, with some accusing the host of inciting violence and calling for his ouster.
The shootings happened just before midnight on the third night of protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was shot several times by police on Sunday as he entered an SUV. Blake survived, but is now paralyzed from the waist down, his family said.
In a video obtained by Inside Edition, Rittenhouse explained that he joined a band of armed men defending businesses from looting. "People are getting injured. Our job is to protect this business," he said.
Rittenhouse allegedly shot a man in the head at a besieged car dealership. He can be seen in video fleeing the scene, then tripping as protesters ran after him. Witnesses said there was a struggle for control of his rifle, in which he fired multiple rounds, allegedly striking and killing a second man.
Brendan Gutenshwager shot the disturbing video. When asked to describe Rittenhouse's demeanor, he told Inside Edition, "That somebody could have just committed such acts and then basically get up and walk as if nothing had happened. It defies imagination."
Rittenhouse attended a Trump rally in Iowa in January and was pictured in the front row. The campaign issued a statement, saying: "President Trump condemns all forms of violence. This individual had nothing to do with our campaign."
The police officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times has been identified as Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran. Authorities claim Blake kept a knife on the floor of his SUV.
Sheskey has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues.