The only man who survived being shot by Kyle Rittenhouse in August 2020 took the witness stand Monday, and footage of the dramatic cross-examination has circulated widely online.
Just look at the very different reactions by the defense and the prosecution to see how the high-profile murder trial of Rittenhouse is going.
Under cross-examination, Gaige Grosskreutz, 28, a volunteer paramedic, answered, “Correct,” to two questions in a row — a moment that quickly went viral and seemed to bolster Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense.
JUST IN – Kyle Rittenhouse didn't shoot until a gun was pointed at him, one of his attackers just admitted in court. pic.twitter.com/PBOr0D6xc5
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 8, 2021
The questions, posed by defense attorney Corey Chirafisi to the state’s star witness, were:
- “So when you were standing three to five feet from [Rittenhouse] with your arms up in the air, he never fired, right?”
- “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?”
About 30 seconds of silence ensued, during which video showed Rittenhouse looking visibly relieved and the prosecutors appearing defeated.
when the case you’re prosecuting is going really well pic.twitter.com/ZcScijjDyU
— Jordan Chamberlain (@jordylancaster) November 8, 2021
The defense has argued that Rittenhouse, an 18-year-old aspiring cop, was in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23, 2020, to defend the city from violent anti-police protesters — and that he shot three men, killing two of them, only because they were attacking him.
- Prosecutors have tried to paint Rittenhouse, an AR-15-toting bogeyman among some liberals, as a reckless aggressor who was out of his depth.
On the right — where Rittenhouse has become a cause célèbre — commentators cheered the defense’s successful cross-examination Monday.
- “Huge, huge moment at Rittenhouse trial. You don’t get many moments like this as a trial attny,” tweeted former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who used to be a litigator.
- “Knew this was going to be a bad day for the prosecution but holy f*ck was that bad for them,” Townhall’s Julio Rosas, who has covered the trial in person, reported in a Twitter thread detailing several unflattering admissions the defense elicited from Grosskreutz.
- Hot Air editor Ed Morrisey predicted Rittenhouse could soon walk free: “Thus far the prosecution looks either massively incompetent or politically motivated. Or both,” he wrote. “If this was a fight, the refs would stop it at this point. The judge might soon get a chance to do just that.”
Other conservatives criticized media coverage of the trial that emphasized Grosskreutz saying he “thought he was going to die” during the confrontation with Rittenhouse.
THEN AND NOW
Over six days of testimony, a number of the prosecution’s witnesses have appeared to help the defense at least as much as the state, which has charged Rittenhouse with first-degree intentional homicide and five other crimes.
Richie McGinniss, a videographer for The Daily Caller, testified last week that his life was at risk when Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum, potentially supporting the charge of reckless endangerment.
- But, likely more significantly, McGinnis also said he saw Rosenbaum chase Rittenhouse into a parking lot, lunge at him and reach for the barrel of his rifle just before the weapon discharged.
Jacob Marshall was scheduled to testify for the defense Wednesday about his since-deleted Facebook post saying Grosskreutz told him he only regretted “not emptying the entire mag into” Rittenhouse.
- Grosskreutz, Marshall’s former roommate, denied Monday that he made the comments.