KENOSHA, Wis. — Gaige Grosskreutz testified Monday he always carried a gun for protection, but that he couldn’t pull the trigger when it might have saved him from being shot by Kyle Rittenhouse.
Grosskreutz, 28, said he had just seen Rittenhouse fire twice at a man who tried to kick him and once fatally into the chest of a man who came at him with a skateboard, before pointing his AR-15-style rifle at him from 5 feet away.
He put his hands up and “thought I was going to die,” Grosskreutz told jurors at Rittenhouse’s trial for shooting him and killing two other men during chaotic protesting last summer in this Wisconsin city.
Grosskreutz claimed that the rifle had jammed. And as Rittenhouse racked the rifle firearm, Grosskreutz decided to try to throw himself at Rittenhouse, even though Grosskreutz was holding his own loaded Glock handgun.
Thomas Binger, Assistant District Attorney, asked him why he did not shoot.
Grosskreutz stated, “It is not the type of person that I want to be.” Grosskreutz said, “Not the type of person that I want to be.”
It happened this way:After the shooting death of Jacob Blake by police officers, a visual timeline shows violence in Kenosha
But before he could get to Rittenhouse, he had cleared the jam and fired at Grosskreutz, blasting apart his right bicep near his elbow. Grosskreutz fled, holding on to his arm wounded and screaming for help.
He would mention the gun prominently in his testimony.
On cross-examination, defense attorney Corey Chirafisi brought up his initial statement to police. In it, Grosskreutz said his gun had fallen from his waist, where it was clipped, while he was running. Rittenhouse never asked him if he had the Glock loaded in his right hand.
A still photo from one of the many videos shot that night, shows Grosskreutz drawing the weapon from the small of his back while he’s still more than 30 feet behind Rittenhouse, who ran after having shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, minutes earlier at a car lot at 63rd Street.
Grosskreutz was also asked several times if he pointed his gun at Rittenhouse. Grosskreutz said that he didn’t point the gun at Rittenhouse, but he also stood in front of the jury to show how he claimed that he turned his back towards Rittenhouse while he was seated on the ground.
Grosskreutz carried a water bottle with him in the left, his phone was in the right, and his portable microphone in the right. The mic was held close to Grosskreutz’s ear.
Is this how you would hold a gun if it were your job to fire it? Binger asked. Binger asked. He answered no.
Chirafisi responded with a photograph of Grosskreutz, just before the bullet struck his arm. The gun’s height is lower and it’s more directed towards Rittenhouse. However, the bullet was not directed at Rittenhouse directly.
Kyle Rittenhouse is going to defend self-defenseExperts agree that it is difficult to prove the argument before a jury.
Right? “It was only until you pointed out and advanced that Rittenhouse (Rittenhouse), fired. Chirafisi asked. Grosskreutz agreed.
Chirafisi also questioned Grosskreutz about whether Grosskreutz had, days later, told his roommate that he regretted not shooting Rittenhouse his entire video clip. The witness denied the statement, which his roommate had posted on social media last year.
The defense also brought up the fact Grosskreutz has filed a $10 million notice of claim and a federal lawsuit against Kenosha officials, which doesn’t mention he had a gun. Grosskreutz admitted to detectives that he refused to answer questions regarding the shooting, according his lawyer.
Grosskreutz said he had come alone to Kenosha that night, to provide assistance to demonstrators. He was a paramedic and said that he has been attending protests since the summer.
After helping some tear gas-stained eyes at Civic Center Park’s edge, police moved the crowd to the south, Rittenhouse said that he was the one who had done this. He recalled seeing Rittenhouse and other armed men at a Car Source garage at 59th Street and Sheridan Road.
Later, he commented on his own Facebook Live video feed as the men crossed 60th Street, referring to them as Boogalo Bois, and yelling, “We’ve got our own medics. You can go home, you (expletive) stupid (expletive)” as Rittenhouse wandered about offering medical assistance.
Binger demanded the reason he stated that.
“My interpretation the whole night was they all had an ominous appearance, these groups weren’t perceived as friendly towards other demonstrators,” Grosskreutz said. Grosskreutz stated that the defendant lacked sufficient knowledge and experience in order to fulfill his role of a doctor.
Grosskreutz stated that his duty as a doctor led him toward the gunshots. It was Rittenhouse who had been shooting Rosenbaum. He heard others shouting at Rittenhouse as he ran away from the noises and saw Rittenhouse. He came up to Rittenhouse while he was taking video and said: “Hey, how are you doing? Are you a photographer? Is it you? Who has been shot?”
Rittenhouse had incorrectly stated that Rittenhouse meant “I am working with police.” He said that he wasn’t doing anything, but now he knows that he just stated he was going with police.
After seeing the crowd following Rittenhouse angrily, he stated that he thought he might need to go in that direction, despite shouts for help from those who were near earlier gunshots.
Grosskreutz stated that Rittenhouse, at the time, was an “active shooter”, and may be himself in danger.
He said he spent a week in hospital after surgery to his arm and months in physical therapy, but still lacks strength in his right arm because of the lost muscle tissue. He claimed that his thumb and most of the forearm aren’t feeling.
Contact Bruce Vielmetti at (414) 224-2187 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @ProofHearsay.