Mr. Rittenhouse’s son went to live with Mr. Martinez after moving from Colorado in January 2016. When Mr. Rittenhouse returned home from work one night, they were fighting in the kitchen.
After she kneed him in the stomach, Mr. Rittenhouse said, she brought up his gun.
“She asked me to put it down,” he said. “Then, all of a sudden, I saw her arm at the top of the cabinet, and that’s when I just backed up because I didn’t know what her intentions were. And I reached for my gun, and then she came back toward me, and I pulled my trigger and she fell back down.”
Mr. Rittenhouse said he did not think he had shot her.
“I was just shocked that she had missed,” he said. “My wife had tackled her and she had fallen over, and I just assumed that she had hit the ground.”
He said he saw Mr. Martinez fall and spit up blood and reach into his shirt, so he went outside to give him first aid.
“I saw a couple of drops of blood on her shirt, so I yelled to the gentleman down the street, ‘Call the cops,’” he said.
But New Orleans police investigators interviewed Mr. Rittenhouse hours later.
“After interviewing him, I asked if I could arrest Mr. Martinez for assault, and he said, ‘Yes,’” police detective Mary Keller told jurors. “She also asked, ‘Do you think you put your gun to her head?’ And he responded, ‘Yes.’”