A man who survived being shot by Kyle Rittenhouse during the 2020 Kenosha, Wisconsin, riots has filed a lawsuit against the 20-year-old and multiple police departments and officials.
Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot in the arm by Rittenhouse after pointing a gun at the then-teenager, is seeking “damages for emotional distress, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and other pain and suffering on all claims,” as well as economic losses and punitive damages, Fox News reported. Grosskreutz filed the lawsuit on February 14.
“Astonishingly, the Kenosha Police Department, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, their supervising officials and police officers, and law enforcement officers from surrounding communities did not treat Defendant Rittenhouse or any of the other armed individuals patrolling the streets as a threat to the safety of themselves or the citizens they were sworn to protect,” the lawsuit says.
“Instead, the law enforcement Defendants deputized these armed individuals, conspired with them, and ratified their actions by letting them patrol the streets, armed with deadly weapons, to mete out justice as they saw fit,” the lawsuit adds.
Grosskreutz admitted to pointing a gun at Rittenhouse when he testified at the latter’s trial in 2021. Rittenhouse, who was charged with murder after fatally shooting two men and injuring Grosskreutz, was found not guilty in November 2021 following a contentious trial.
On August 25, 2020, when Rittenhouse was 17, he and others armed with rifles began patrolling downtown Kenosha in order to protect a used car dealership from the looting and vandalism taking place during the riots in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by a white police officer.
While guarding the car dealership, rioters began chasing Rittenhouse, and “[u]pon the sound of a gunshot behind him, Kyle turned and was immediately faced with an attacker lunging towards him and reaching for his rifle. He reacted instantaneously and justifiably with his weapon to protect himself, firing and striking the attacker,” a 2021 statement from his attorneys said.
“In fear for his life and concerned the crowd would either continue to shoot at him or even use his own weapon against him, Kyle had no choice but to fire multiple rounds towards his immediate attackers, striking two, including one armed attacker,” the law firm added.
A jury acquitted Rittenhouse of all charges.
Rittenhouse told Fox News that he would “prove my innocence again” during the lawsuit, but said he knew it would cost a lot of money to defend himself.