A man who survived after being shot by an American teenager during racial justice protests in Wisconsin told a court he pointed his own pistol but did not intend to fire.
Gaige Grosskreutz was the third person to be shot dead by Kyle Rittenhouse in the town of Kenosha on August 25, 2020.
He said he thought Rittenhouse was an “active sniper” when he pulled out his own pistol and loaded it.
Mr. Rittenhouse then opened fire, shooting him in the arm, he said.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys claim he acted in self-defense. The 18-year-old has denied six counts, including reckless murder, willful murder, and reckless risk to safety.
Riots broke out in Kenosha in August 2020 after police shot dead a black man. Mr. Rittenhouse traveled to the city from his Illinois home in response to a social media appeal for Americans with guns to help protect property from street riots.
Kyle Rittenhouse pointed his own gun amid fears for life:
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Grosskreutz, 27, attended the protest as a volunteer doctor and told the court he was affiliated with a social justice group called the People’s Revolution Movement.
During a tense interrogation on Monday, the accused’s lawyer, Corey Chirafisi, asked Grosskreutz: “When you stood three feet away from him with your arms up, he never fired. not?
“Right,” Grosskreutz said.
“It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, stepped forward at him, with your gun, keeping your hands pointed at him, that he fired, wasn’t it?” Mr Chirafisi continued.
“Right,” Grosskreutz said.
He said he did not want to point the gun at Rittenhouse and denied having pursued the teenager, who was 17.
When asked what was on his mind as he approached Mr. Rittenhouse, he replied, “That I was going to die.”
“I never tried to kill the accused. At that time, I was trying to preserve my own life, but doing so by taking someone else’s life is not something I am able or comfortable to do,” he told the court.
Armed with a semi-automatic rifle, Rittenhouse had just killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, who threw a skateboard at him. Mr. Rittenhouse and the men he shot are all white.
Mr Grosskreutz was shot in the right bicep, causing serious damage to the arm. Photos of his injury were shown to the jury, causing some discomfort, according to court reporters.
Mr. Grosskreutz was the 16th witness to testify on the prosecution. Rittenhouse’s defense team is expected to call its own witnesses after the prosecution closes on Tuesday.
In Kenosha, riots broke out after police shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times on August 23, 2020. A woman called police to say that Mr. Blake was at her home in violation of an injunction. Mr. Blake, who had a knife, was getting into a car where his three children were sitting when police opened fire. He survived but was paralyzed from waist to toe.