Rittenhouse trial: Key state witness admits he pointed a gun at Rittenhouse before he was shot
KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The sixth day of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial shifted focus from the first shooting to the second and third. Witnesses recalled the moments when Anthony Huber was shot in the chest and killed, and Gaige Grosskreutz testified about being shot in the arm and surviving. Grosskreutz was the most anticipated witness called to the stand so far.
The state tried to show Grosskreutz was not a threat and even had his hands up when he approached Rittenhouse in the street. But the defense got Grosskreutz to admit he had a loaded gun in his hand, and that Rittenhouse did not shoot him until Grosskreutz lowered his hands and pointed that gun at him.
Eyewitness video from the scene shows as more people approached Rittenhouse, he was knocked to the ground. Grosskreutz was roughly five feet away, with his Glock pistol in his right hand and his cellphone in his left hand. At first, his hands were raised.
Prosecutor Thomas Binger asked him on the stand, "What was going through your mind at this particular moment?" Grosskreutz replied, "That I was going to die."
But on cross-examination, the defense went through the video again, at times second-by-second. Rittenhouse's defense attorney Corey Chirafisi asked Grosskreutz, "When you were standing three to five feet from him with your arms up in the air, he never fired, right?" Grosskreutz replied, "Correct. Chirafisi then asked, "It wasn't until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him, with your gun and your hands down, pointed at him, that he fired, right?" Again, Grosskreutz said, "Correct."
Chirafisi asked, "At this point, you're holding a loaded chamber of a Glock .27 in your right hand, yes?" Grosskreutz said, "That is correct, yes." Chirafisi asked, "You're are advancing on Mr. Rittenhouse, who is seated on his butt, right?" Grosskreutz said, "That is correct."
Later an independent journalist who was filming that night was called to the stand. Chirafisi asked, "[Rittenhouse] wasn't doing anything aggressively, correct?" Kristan Harris said, "I agree with that." Chirafisi continued, "He wasn't verbally threatening anyone?" Harris said, "No, he was offering help." Chirafisi asked, "He wasn't using his firearm in a way to scare or intimidate people by pointing it at them, agreed?" Harris said, "Agreed."
The state's last witness of the day was the lead detective in the case, and again the defense honed in on Rittenhouse's state of mind. Chirafisi asked him, "The only people that he fired at were people that had either kicked him, hit him with something, or pulled a gun on him when he's running down Sheridan Road, right?" Detective Ben Antaramian replied, "I would agree with that statement."
#KyleRittenhouse trial week two:— Kim Shine (@KimShineCBS58) November 8, 2021
The state calls Gaige Grosskreutz to the stand. He is the sole survivor in the deadly shootings on Aug. 25, 2020.#Rittenhouse is paying attention and taking notes.@CBS58pic.twitter.com/ZksIHiOQqt
Grosskreutz was a trained EMT/paramedic. He told jurors he was acting as a medic that night, and was livestreaming when he heard the shots, ran toward them to help and saw the defendant. Grosskreutz told jurors he wasn't far behind Anthony Huber when he saw Rittenhouse shoot and kill him.
Prosecutor Binger: "Why didn't you shoot the defendant first?"
Grosskreutz: "That's not the kind of person that I am. Not the person who I am and definitely not the person I want to become."
**Warning: Images and videos within this livestream may be disturbing to some viewers**
Grosskreutz said he decided to confront Rittenhouse, and started walking toward him with his firearm in his hand and his arms up.
He said Huber tried wrestling the gun away from the defendant, but he, himself never had the chance.
Binger: "Did there come a time when you were running that you did pull your gun out?"
Grosskreutz: "In the moment, I thought the defendant was an active shooter… I had heard several more gunshots and, again, making inferences the defendant was the only one with a large caliber rifle. I'd seen an individual jump over the defendant and then the defendant, heard two shots and from there had saw another individual use a skateboard to hit the defendant."
"I thought the defendant was an active shooter," Grosskreutz says. pic.twitter.com/jWfnEl5G14— Victor Jacobo (@victorjacobo_) November 8, 2021
Grosskreutz testified that he wanted to use nonlethal means to disarm Rittenhouse. He told the jury that after Rittenhouse shot Huber, Grosskreutz put his hands up, racked his gun and then fired.
On cross examination the defense went after Grosskreutz -- grilling him about the $10 million lawsuit he filed and the fact that in his statement to police, Grosskreutz left out the fact that he had his gun drawn.
The defense also showed videos and pictures to refute Grosskreutz's claim he was shot with his hands up.
Defense Attorney Corey Chirafisi: "So when you were standing three to five feet away from him with your hands up, he never fired. Correct?"
Defense Attorney Corey Chirafisi: "It wasn't until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun, hands down, pointed at him, that he fired. Right?"
This picture is shown in court— Kristen Barbaresi (@KristenBarbar) November 8, 2021
Chirafisi: you'd agree your firearm is pointed at Mr. Rittenhouse, correct?
Grosskreutz: correct pic.twitter.com/RB6mspFt23
Grosskreutz testified that he was carrying his gun in his waistband but his conceal carry permit was expired.
Grosskreutz denied he's a member of the political group The People's Revolution. But the defense played a clip of his livestream, where Grosskreutz yells at Rittenhouse, "Go home, you *expletive* stooge." Grosskreutz admitted he's spoken at a People's Revolution rally and made the comment "long live the revolution."
Rittenhouse, now 18, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree attempted intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, as well as misdemeanor possession of a dangerous weapon under the age of 18 and a noncriminal violation of failure to comply with an emergency order. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Rittenhouse is expected to testify in court in his defense.