Kenosha Protest Shootings

Kyle Rittenhouse looks back before going on a break during his trail at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. 

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all charges after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha, Wisconsin, shootings that became a flashpoint in the nation's debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice.

The jury came back with its verdict after close to 3 1/2 days of deliberation.

Rittenhouse, 18, could have gotten life in prison if found guilty of the most serious charge against him.

He was charged with homicide, attempted homicide and recklessly endangering safety for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle.

The shootings took place during a night of protests over police violence against Black people in the tumultuous summer of 2020. Rittenhouse is white, as were those he shot. The jury appeared to be overwhelmingly white.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP's earlier story follows below.

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — The jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse — a case that has become a flashpoint in the debate in the U.S. over guns, protests, vigilantism, and law and order.

The parties to the case are gathering for the reading of the verdict. The jury came back with a decision after close to 3 1/2 days of deliberations.

Rittenhouse, an 18-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge against him over the August 2020 fatal shootings of two men and the wounding of a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Jurors listened to two weeks of dueling portrayals of Rittenhouse. Prosecutors say he was a "wannabe soldier" who brought a semi-automatic rifle to a racial justice protest and instigated the bloodshed. The defense says he acted in self-defense.