From the New York Times news section:
The testimony underscores the prosecutors’ challenge in disproving a self-defense claim. Gaige Grosskreutz, who was armed, was shot while responding to an earlier shooting.
By Julie Bosman
Nov. 8, 2021, 6:59 p.m. ET
KENOSHA, Wis. — … As the prosecution’s case in the homicide trial of Mr. Rittenhouse nears an end, Mr. Grosskreutz, 28, calmly delivered testimony for several hours as a star witness for the state. But his testimony at times lent support to Mr. Rittenhouse’s central claim, that he was acting in self-defense when he shot Mr. Grosskreutz and two other men. The testimony underscored a broader challenge for prosecutors, who face the burden of disproving the scenario laid out by Mr. Rittenhouse’s lawyers.
Those lawyers have argued that Mr. Rittenhouse fired in self-defense during a chaotic, lawless night in Kenosha on the third night of protests and rioting after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23, 2020. The first man Mr. Rittenhouse shot, Joseph Rosenbaum, was erratic and threatening to people on the street that night, the defense has said, and in the split second before Mr. Rittenhouse shot him, Mr. Rosenbaum lunged in his direction and reached for his weapon. After Mr. Rittenhouse shot him four times and fled down the street, he shot two others who were pursuing him, Anthony Huber and Mr. Grosskreutz.
“I thought that the defendant was an active shooter,” said Mr. Grosskreutz, who also testified that he came to the protests to provide medical help to people who needed it.
Under cross-examination by a lawyer for Mr. Rittenhouse, Mr. Grosskreutz gave testimony that suggested his role in the events of Aug. 25, 2020, was complicated. Like Mr. Rittenhouse, Mr. Grosskreutz was armed that night, and he was asked why he had falsely told police detectives shortly after the shooting that his Glock pistol had fallen out of its holster that night — rather than saying he had pulled it out, as visual evidence showed. Under questioning, he also acknowledged that he was carrying the gun concealed without a valid permit to do so and that he had denied a request from the police in September 2020 to interview him about the shootings.
As Mr. Grosskreutz described the seconds before Mr. Rittenhouse shot him, he was shown photos that captured him pointing his gun at Mr. Rittenhouse.
“So when you were standing three to five feet from him with your arms up in the air, he never fired, right?” Corey Chirafisi, a defense lawyer, asked.
“Correct,” Mr. Grosskreutz answered.
“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?” Mr. Chirafisi said.
“Correct,” he said.
Through five days of testimony, several witnesses who have been called by the prosecution have offered accounts that were complex, rather than plainly favorable to the state’s case against Mr. Rittenhouse. Some witnesses have given testimony that was ambiguous — helpful to the prosecution at some moments and helpful to the defense at others.
One witness, Richie McGinniss, a videographer for The Daily Caller, a conservative news and opinion site, who was standing near Mr. Rittenhouse at the time of the first shooting, told the jury his life was at risk by the shots Mr. Rittenhouse fired. The testimony offered support to a count of reckless endangerment that is among six charges, including first-degree intentional homicide, in the prosecution’s criminal complaint.
Mr. McGinniss gave searing and emotional testimony of the trauma and personal danger that he endured, telling the jury that he stepped out of the line of fire just before Mr. Rittenhouse shot Mr. Rosenbaum, 36, and had to stamp his own legs on the ground afterward to make sure he had not been hit by a bullet.
Mr. McGinniss recalled on the stand how he had tried to save Mr. Rosenbaum’s life, applying pressure to his wounds and loading him into a vehicle to take him to a hospital. When the two were in the back of the S.U.V. together, as Mr. Rosenbaum was dying, Mr. McGinniss tried to reassure him, he testified.
“I was just telling him that we’re going to have a beer together afterwards, and it was all going to be OK,” Mr. McGinniss, visibly shaken at the memory, told the courtroom.
But Mr. McGinniss also offered what could be the defense’s most crucial witness testimony: that he saw Mr. Rosenbaum chase Mr. Rittenhouse into a parking lot, lunge at him and reach for the barrel of his rifle.
If grabbing for the barrel is crucial defense testimony, isn’t the Ahmaud Arbery case sunk?