Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot in the arm by Kyle Rittenhouse, testified Monday in the teenager’s homicide trial.
Grosskreutz testified that he ran after Rittenhouse because he believed the teenager was an “active shooter.”
Grosskreutz added that he was “never trying to kill” Rittenhouse, and had even tried to surrender to him.
The man who survived being shot by Kyle Rittenhouse testified Monday that he hadn’t wanted to kill the teenager, and even tried to surrender to him, but he saw Rittenhouse “re-racking” his AR-15 rifle to potentially open fire anyway.
Gaige Grosskreutz, whose right bicep was blown off after he clashed with Rittenhouse in the streets of Kenosha in August 2020, told the jury he drew his handgun and ran after Rittenhouse because Grosskreutz thought the then-17-year-old was an “active shooter.” Grosskreutz said he was a licensed EMT and paramedic, and had attended the Kenosha protests on the evening of August 25, 2020, to provide medical services to anyone injured.
Though Grosskreutz’s shooting was captured on video, Monday’s testimony marked the first time the public has heard what Grosskreutz was thinking in the moments before the shooting, as he advanced towards Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse is on trial for fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injuring Grosskreutz. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming he shot all three men in self-defense after they pursued him.
Grosskreutz told the jury that even though he had drawn his pistol, he hadn’t intended to kill Rittenhouse.
“I do know that I was never trying to kill the defendant. That was never something I was trying to do,” Grosskreutz said. “In that moment I was trying to preserve my own life. But doing so while taking the life of another is not something I am capable of or comfortable doing.”
Prosecutors played a video for the jury that showed Rittenhouse on the ground, with his rifle pointing toward Grosskreutz, who was just feet away. The video showed Grosskreutz briefly put his hands in the air, then dart forward towards Rittenhouse while holding his pistol in his right hand.
The assistant district attorney, Thomas Binger, asked Grosskreutz why he put his hands in the air, then apparently changed his mind, dropped his hands, and rushed forward towards the teenager. Grosskreutz responded that while his hands were in the air, he saw Rittenhouse “re-racking” his rifle, causing Grosskreutz to think that Rittenhouse had already pulled the trigger and was about to open fire again, despite Grosskreutz’s surrender.
“Re-racking the weapon, in my mind, meant that the defendant pulled the trigger while my hands were in the air, but the gun didn’t fire,” Grosskreutz said. “So by re-racking the weapon, I inferred that the defendant wasn’t accepting my surrender.”
Grosskreutz said he hadn’t been sure what to do when he saw Rittenhouse re-rack his rifle, and made a split-second decision to move towards the teenager.
“In that moment, I felt that I had to do something to try and prevent myself from being shot or killed,” Grosskreutz said. “And so I decided that the best course of action would be to close the distance between the defendant and I, and from there I don’t know.”
Grosskreutz said he had seen others attempting, but failing to detain Rittenhouse or wrestle his rifle away. Grosskreutz said he didn’t know what he, himself would have done if he reached Rittenhouse because he “never had an opportunity.”
On cross-examination, Rittenhouse’s defense attorney, Corey Chirafisi, sought to poke holes in Grosskreutz’s testimony. Chirafisi suggested that Grosskreutz had deliberately omitted or obscured details during his initial police interview – specifically, omitting the fact that Grosskreutz had been armed and holding his pistol at the time of the shooting.
Chirafisi also repeatedly tried to get Grosskreutz to confirm that he had “chased” Rittenhouse that night, but Grosskreutz denied that he had “chased” the teenager. Grosskreutz had testified earlier that he had been running in Rittenhouse’s direction because he decided that his “services as a medic might be more needed in the direction [Rittenhouse] was headed.”
Read the original article on Insider