The surviving man who was shot by then 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha last summer told the court on Monday that he was pointing a gun at the teenager before the teen fired.
In August 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse shot Gaige Grosskreutz during a riot in Kenosha. Grosskreutz was one of three people shot that night, including Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum who were killed.
Grosskreutz was captured on multiple videos armed with a handgun and had chased Rittenhouse after the teenager shot and killed Rosenbaum. As seen in videos, as well in court testimony, Grosskreutz pointed his weapon at Rittenhouse, who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle. The teenager raised his firearm on Grosskreutz, firing and hitting Grosskreutz in his bicep.
Despite being called as a witness for the prosecution, Grosskreutz admitted to defence attorney Corey Chirafisi under cross-examination that he had first pointed his handgun at Rittenhouse before Rittenhouse fired upon him. The defence attorney began the line of questioning with a still image from the video showing the moment of the shooting.
Grosskreutz testified that the screenshot showed his arm being “vaporized.”
Corey Chirafisi: Now, you’d agree your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse. Correct?
Gaige Grosskreutz: Yes.
CC: Okay. And once your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse, that’s when he fires his gun. Yes?
CC: Sir, look, I don’t want to – does this look like right now your arm is being shot?
GG: That looks like my bicep being vaporized, yes.
CC: Okay. And it’s being vaporized as you’re pointing your gun directly at him. Yes?
CC: Okay. So when you were standing 3-5 feet from him with your arms up in the air, he never fired. Right?
CC: It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun — now your hands down — pointed at him that he fired. Right?
Grosskreutz’s testimony punched a massive hole in the prosecution's arguments that Rittenhouse was not acting in self-defence. His remarks prompted one of the prosecutors to cover his face in disbelief, which has now become a social media meme.
Grosskreutz testified that he did not intend to shoot Rittenhouse, claiming instead that he tried to surrender to Rittenhouse, but saw the teenager “re-racking” his rifle to potentially open fire.
“That was never something I was trying to do,” Grosskreutz said during his testimony, according to The Washington Post. “At that moment I was trying to preserve my own life. Trying to take the life of another is not something I am … capable of doing. … That’s not why I was out there.”