MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin man who was shot during a protest against police brutality in Kenosha last month says he still remembers the screams that night and he's in constant pain.
Prosecutors say 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, shot Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz during a protest the night of Aug. 25. Rosenbaum and Huber were killed. Grosskreutz was wounded in the arm.
Grosskruetz told CNN for a story posted online Friday that he was shot in the bicep and had to use a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. He says he still remembers the gunshots and the screams and he's in constant pain.
“I play it back in my head, I think about it all the time,” Grosskreutz said, his right arm still in a sling. “I think about everything all the time.”
Grosskreutz told CNN that he traveled to the protest because video of the Blake shooting disturbed him. He said he worked as a paramedic before going back to college in Wisconsin and he packed medical supplies in a small backpack in case he needed to treat people at the protests. He also brought his pistol with him, saying he has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He said he was worried after seeing a call to arms from a group called the Kenosha Guard on Facebook.
Grosskreutz stressed to CNN that he has a legal right to carry a weapon.
“Everybody was there exercising their right to protest,” he said. “And there were some people who were exercising their right to bear arms, including myself. I never fired my gun. I was there to help people, not hurt people.”
He said he used his own medic bag to apply a tourniquet to his arm before police drove him to the hospital.
“That was a grievous wound. Had I not had my training and proper equipment . . . to treat a gunshot wound, I might not be here doing this interview,” he said.
He’s still being treated by doctors in the same hospital where Blake is convalescing from his wounds.
“I’m missing 90% of my bicep,” Grosskreutz said. “I’m in constant pain, like, excruciating pain, pain that doesn’t go away,” he said.
Rittenhouse isn’t old enough to legally possess a weapon in Wisconsin but his attorneys have argued he acted in self-defense. President Donald Trump has defended Rittenhouse’s actions.
Grosskreutz said he and his family, including his 65-year-old grandmother, have been getting death threats online from Rittenhouse supporters.
“Nobody should have been hurt or died that night,” he said. “We’re Americans. We’re human beings. We’re better than that.”