The man who survived being shot by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August testified on Monday that he never tried to kill the heavily armed teenager. In fact, the witness said at the teen’s murder trial Monday, he was actually trying to surrender to him.
Gaige Grosskreutz, a 27-year-old licensed EMT and paramedic who was injured after clashing with Rittenhouse amid protests in Kenosha, described how he drew his own handgun that day because he believed the teen to be an “active shooter.” Grosskreutz, however, admitted to the jury on Monday that he did point his firearm in Rittenhouse’s direction when the teenager shot him in the bicep, albeit, the witness claimed, by accident.
“I do know that I was never trying to kill the defendant. That was never something I was trying to do,” Grosskreutz said. But when Grosskreutz saw Rittenhouse “re-racking” his AR-15 rifle to potentially open fire, he told jurors, he “was trying to preserve” his own life. “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, adding that he “inferred that the defendant wasn’t accepting my surrender.”
“In that moment, I felt that I had to do something to try and prevent myself from being shot or killed,” Grosskreutz added, claiming he did not chase Rittenhouse despite the defense alleging as much, but did try to grab the teen’s gun before being shot. “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.” Rittenhouse is facing several charges after killing two people and injuring Grosskreutz during the protests, though his defense team insists he acted out of self-defense.