A man shot by Kyle Rittenhouse testified that he thought the teenager was an 'active shooter'

  • The man Kyle Rittenhouse shot in the arm testified on Monday that he believed the teenager was an "active shooter."

  • Gaige Grosskreutz, a medic, said he ran after Rittenhouse because he thought he might need to treat a gunshot victim.

  • Grosskreutz also said he tried to surrender to Rittenhouse, but saw him "re-rack" his rifle.

The man who survived being shot in the arm by Kyle Rittenhouse testified on Monday that he had believed the then-17-year-old was an "active shooter" running through the streets of downtown Kenosha on August 25, 2020.

Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, is the only survivor of the three men Rittenhouse shot, and testified on the fifth day of Rittenhouse's homicide trial. The now-18-year-old Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and has claimed he shot Grosskreutz, Joseph Rosenbaum, and Anthony Huber in self-defense after all three men chased him.

Monday was the first time the public has heard directly from Grosskreutz about his thoughts and intentions that evening as he ran towards Rittenhouse, who by that point had fallen to the ground and was wielding his AR-15 rifle. The widely circulated video showed Grosskreutz holding a pistol while approaching Rittenhouse, then briefly pausing to put his hands in the air, then darting towards the teenager.

The outcome of Rittenhouse's trial will depend on whether jurors believe that Rittenhouse had good reason to fear for his life when he opened fire on each of the men.

Grosskreutz - a licensed EMT and paramedic - testified that he had attended the Kenosha protests that night as a volunteer medic, and had done so at dozens of previous protests that summer. Grosskreutz had been live-streaming on his phone when he briefly encountered Rittenhouse, who was running north on Sheridan Road just minutes after Rosenbaum was shot.

kyle rittenhouse trial
Kyle Rittenhouse and his defense team watch video of the shooting as Gaige Grosskreutz testifies about being shot in the right bicep during the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha (Wisconsin) Circuit Court Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. Mark Hertzberg/Pool via Associated Press

Though Grosskreutz did not witness the Rosenbaum shooting, he testified that he could hear people calling for a medic and yelling that Rittenhouse had just shot someone.

Grosskreutz said when he ran up alongside Rittenhouse and asked what happened, he thought the teenager responded, "I'm working with the police" and "I didn't do anything." In reality, Rittenhouse had said "I'm going to the police."

Grosskreutz said his suspicion of Rittenhouse's intentions, combined with the gunshots he had just heard and the group of people running after the teenager, led him to believe that Rittenhouse was an "active shooter."

Grosskreutz testified that even though he had initially run towards the sound of the gunshots, with the intent to help the victim, he pivoted and ran after Rittenhouse, deciding that "my services as a medic might be more needed in the direction [Rittenhouse] was headed."

"From the things I had heard, experienced, witnessed earlier in the night, I thought the defendant was an active shooter," Grosskreutz said.

Grosskreutz testified that he had not intended to kill Rittenhouse when he finally caught up with the teenager, who was lying on the ground and had just fatally shot Huber. Grosskreutz said he tried to surrender to Rittenhouse, but saw him "re-rack" his rifle to load a new round into the chamber. Grosskreutz then moved towards Rittenhouse, who opened fire.

When prosecutors asked Grosskreutz what was going through his mind, Grosskreutz responded, "That I was going to die."

On cross-examination, Rittenhouse's defense attorney, Corey Chirafisi, sought to poke holes in Grosskreutz's testimony. Chirafisi showed the jury a picture of Grosskreutz pulling his pistol from his belt when he was some 30 feet away from Rittenhouse - long before the teenager ever pointed his rifle towards Grosskreutz.

Chirafisi also repeatedly asked Grosskreutz whether he had "chased" Rittenhouse that night (Grosskreutz denied that characterization), and got Grosskreutz to acknowledge he had omitted details during his initial police interview - specifically, the fact that Grosskreutz had been armed and holding his loaded pistol at the time of the shooting.

Read the original article on Insider