Kyle Rittenhouse trial

By Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 7:10 PM ET, Mon November 8, 2021
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10:27 a.m. ET, November 8, 2021

The lone survivor shot by Kyle Rittenhouse called to testify in trial 

From CNN's Brad Parks

Gaige Grosskreutz, the only one of the three men shot by Kyle Rittenhouse during a night of protests in Kenosha last year who survived, has been called to testify in the ongoing criminal trial. 

Rittenhouse shot and injured Grosskreutz, who approached him shortly after Anthony Huber was shot, the criminal complaint alleged.

Grosskreutz ducked to the ground when Huber was shot and took a step back, according to the complaint. Grosskreutz put his hands in the air and then began to move toward Rittenhouse, who then fired one shot, hitting Grosskreutz in the arm, according to the complaint. Grosskreutz was holding a handgun but had his hands up, the complaint says.

Grosskreutz is taking the stand now. 

 

10:23 a.m. ET, November 8, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse is on trial for homicide. Here's a recap of what happened the night of the shootings.

From CNN's Eric Levenson

Kyle Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, went on trial Monday on homicide charges.

Rittenhouse, now 18, is accused of fatally shooting Anthony M. Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27.

Here's a recap of how the night of Aug. 25, 2020, unfolded:

The violence in Kenosha, a city of about 100,000 people, came amid a tense summer of protests and unrest as masses of people denounced how American police treated Black people.

Rittenhouse, from nearby Antioch, had an affinity for guns and supported "Blue Lives Matter" and then-President Donald Trump, according to his social media accounts.

On Aug. 23, 2020, a Kenosha Police officer shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, multiple times in the back. The shooting was captured on cellphone video and quickly spread online, leading to outrage and protests as well as violence and destruction over the next few days.

Some people – including a number who did not live in Kenosha – took the matter of safety into their own hands. Rittenhouse was among them.

Wearing a green T-shirt and a backward baseball cap, the armed Rittenhouse walked the streets of the city on the night of Aug. 25 with a group of armed men, video and photos from the protests show. Hours after curfew, Rittenhouse was walking down the streets near a car dealership holding what investigators later determined to be "a Smith & Wesson AR-15 style .223 rifle," the criminal complaint against him states.

The complaint says Rittenhouse clashed with people gathered near the car dealership for reasons not specified.

Rosenbaum was unarmed and threw an object that appeared to be a plastic bag at him and missed, according to the complaint. Rosenbaum and Rittenhouse moved across the parking lot and appeared to be in close proximity when loud bangs suddenly rang out and Rosenbaum fell to the ground, according to the complaint.

As Rosenbaum lay on the ground, Rittenhouse made a call on his cellphone and said, "I just killed somebody" as he ran away, the complaint alleges. A journalist who was following the suspect and the victim at the time provided investigators with more details on what happened. He told investigators the man shot was trying to get the suspect's gun, according to the complaint.

Another video shows the suspect running from the scene followed by people in hot pursuit.

"A person can be heard yelling what sounds like, 'Beat him up!' Another person can be heard yelling what sounds like, 'Hey, he shot him!'" the criminal complaint alleges. In another video, a person yells, "Get him! Get that dude!"

Rittenhouse tripped and fell as people chased him down, and as he lay on the ground, a person identified as Huber approached him with a skateboard in his right hand, the complaint says. Huber appeared to reach Rittenhouse's gun with one hand as the skateboard hit the teen in the shoulder, the complaint states, and Rittenhouse then shot Huber.

Rittenhouse then pointed his gun at a third man, later identified as Grosskreutz, who was holding a handgun, the complaint states. He was shot in the right arm and took off in the opposite direction screaming for a medic while the defendant walked away, the complaint alleges.

Rittenhouse left the shooting scene still armed and walked toward officers with his hands up, but police passed by him without arresting him, video shows. He ultimately went home and turned himself in at his local police department the next morning.

He was extradited to Wisconsin to face charges and released after posting $2 million in bail

CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Faith Karimi contributed to this report.

10:04 a.m. ET, November 8, 2021

Here's what we know about the two men killed and the sole survivor of the Kenosha shooting

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Left to right: Gaige Grosskreutz, Anthony Huber, and Joseph Rosenbaum
Left to right: Gaige Grosskreutz, Anthony Huber, and Joseph Rosenbaum (CNN/AP/From GoFundMe)

The man accused of shooting three people – two fatally – during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year is standing trial.

Defense lawyers say Kyle Rittenhouse, then 17, was acting in self-defense last August when he shot and killed Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27.

Last week, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder said the three men can potentially be referred to as "rioters" or "looters" during the trial but reiterated his longstanding rule that attorneys not refer to them as "victims."

Rittenhouse is charged with felony homicide related to the killings of Huber and Rosenbaum and felony attempted homicide in connection with Grosskreutz's injury. He is also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon while under the age of 18, a misdemeanor. He has pleaded not guilty.

Here's what we know about the two men killed and the sole survivor of the shootings:

Joseph Rosenbaum

On the night of Aug. 25, 2020, Kenosha's streets were filled with crowds protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back and side by a Kenosha police officer who said he was trying to detain him.

During those demonstrations, Rittenhouse clashed with a crowd gathered near a car dealership and Rosenbaum, who was unarmed, threw an object that appeared to be a plastic bag at him and missed, according to a criminal complaint filed last year. Rosenbaum and Rittenhouse moved across the parking lot and appeared to be close to each other when loud bangs suddenly rang out and Rosenbaum fell to the ground, the complaint said.

A reporter approached Rosenbaum, who was on the ground and tried to render aid. As Rosenbaum lay on the ground, Rittenhouse made a call on his cellphone and said, "I just killed somebody" as he ran away, the complaint alleged.

Anthony Huber

Huber, who was in the crowd of protesters with his girlfriend, was killed as Rittenhouse fled the scene of Rosenbaum's shooting, according to the complaint.

Huber had turned 26 just four days earlier, according to an obituary.

Huber spotted the armed man in the crowded street and he ran toward danger, his girlfriend, Hannah Gittings, told CNN in an interview last year.

"He pushed me out of the way and ran off. I tried to grab him," Hannah Gittings said. She referred to what Huber had done as a "heroic thing."

Videos from the scene show Rittenhouse carrying an AR-15-style rifle, walking the city's streets with a group of armed men. Gittings told CNN her boyfriend launched at the armed individual to protect her and other people nearby.

Huber appeared to reach for Rittenhouse's gun with his hand while holding his skateboard in the other, the criminal complaint said. As Huber tried to grab the gun, Rittenhouse pointed it at his body and fired one round, according to the complaint. Huber was seen staggering away and then fell to the ground, the complaint said. He died from his gunshot wound.

Gaige Grosskreutz

Rittenhouse shot and injured Grosskreutz, who approached him shortly after Huber was shot, the criminal complaint alleged. Grosskreutz ducked to the ground when Huber was shot and took a step back, according to the complaint.

He put his hands in the air and then began to move toward Rittenhouse, who then fired one shot, hitting Grosskreutz in the arm, according to the complaint. Grosskreutz was holding a handgun but had his hands up, the complaint says.

Grosskreutz ran away from the scene, screaming for a medic, according to the complaint.

"I think about the screams, about the gunshots. I think about everything, all the time," Grosskreutz told CNN's Sara Sidner in a September 2020 interview. "This is something that either you let consume you or you need to become stronger because of it."

Grosskreutz was wearing his "paramedic" hat at the time. He said his goal during the protest was to provide medical care to anyone who needed it. He had previously trained as a paramedic before deciding to attend a liberal arts college in Wisconsin.

"While my work as a paramedic was important to the community I felt it was reactive: somebody gets shot, somebody overdoses," he had told CNN. "I wanted to further my understanding of the world and further educate myself and then be on the proactive side. Stop people from getting shot, stop people from overdosing."

Since the shooting, he had to undergo several surgeries and treatments.

Read more details about them here.

9:45 a.m. ET, November 8, 2021

Key things to know about Kyle Rittenhouse's homicide trial

From CNN's Eric Levenson

Kyle Rittenhouse, the armed Illinois teenager who killed two people and wounded another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer, went on trial Monday on homicide charges in a case that will test the distinction between self-defense and vigilante killings.

Jury selection began Monday morning for Rittenhouse, now 18, who is accused of fatally shooting Anthony M. Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27.

Rittenhouse is charged with five felonies: first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. He is also charged with misdemeanor possession of a dangerous weapon under the age of 18 and a non-criminal violation of failure to comply with an emergency order. He has pleaded not guilty.

The trial is expected to last just over two weeks and will be televised, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder said in court.

The case stems from Rittenhouse's actions in the wake of protests related to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020, which left Blake paralyzed.

After a day of unrest in Kenosha, Rittenhouse traveled to the city from his home in Antioch, Illinois. On the night of Aug. 25, armed with an AR-15-style rifle, he clashed with people gathered near a car dealership and fatally shot Rosenbaum, according to a criminal complaint. Others at the scene pursued Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, who then fatally shot Huber and wounded Grosskreutz, the complaint states.

The teenager rapidly became a polarizing figure in the country's pitched partisan battles during last summer's Black Lives Matter protests, which led to instances of violence in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Philadelphia and elsewhere. Rittenhouse's presence in Kenosha was also part of what experts warned is a rise in amateur armed paramilitary groups at protests nationwide.

Prosecutors say Rittenhouse's actions constituted criminal homicide, but his attorneys say he shot the men in self-defense. Wisconsin law requires when a self-defense claim is raised, prosecutors must disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt – a difficult obstacle for the state.

"It's a pretty substantial burden for the prosecution to do that and I think that's going to be where the real challenge for them lies," said John Gross, a clinical associate professor and the director of the Public Defender Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.

Those chosen to sit on the jury will be tasked with assessing the reasonableness of Rittenhouse's actions that night.

"We want the jury to be a check on the power of the state and to enforce community norms," said Cecelia Klingele, an associate professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "So when the law requires that force is used reasonably, we want our community to decide what is or isn't reasonable."