Gaige Paul Grosskreutz of West Allis, Wisconsin, United States was one of the men shot by Kyle Rittenhouse on August 25, 2020. They were in the same Black Lives Matter demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin that day.
During the demonstration, Rittenhouse was one of the armed civilians who wanted to protect businesses from vandalism. Grosskreutz was one of the protesters demanding justice for Jacob Blake, who was shot by Kenosha Police Department officer Rusten Sheskey in the back at least eight times on August 23, 2020.
With a PARAMEDIC cap, a medical bag and a handgun, Grosskreutz volunteered as a medic earlier that night. He was part of the People’s Revolution Movement, a social justice group based in Milwaukee, and attended the demonstration with the group.
Carrying a Smith & Wesson AR-15 style .223 rifle, Rittenhouse fatally shot two protesters namely Joseph D. Rosenbaum and Anthony M. Huber. Grosskreutz held his handgun in his right hand as he approached Rittenhouse, who then shot Grosskreutz’s right arm.
While wounded, Grosskreutz told those helping him to apply a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. He was rushed to a hospital in Milwaukee where he underwent reconstructive surgery.
Wenzel Media LLC owner Patti Breitigam-Wenzel organized a GoFundMe fundraiser for Grosskreutz. She has known him since 2011 and considers him as a son and told the Chicago Sun Times that he has “always been someone who’d help out his friends and give them the shirt off his back if he has one.”
Kimberley Motley represented Grosskreutz. Here are 13 more things about him:
- Aside from West Allis, he has lived in different parts of Wisconsin including Hales Corners, La Crosse, Ashland and Milwaukee.
- He previously worked as a special events coordinator, a wilderness medical instructor and a sea kayak guide at Lost Creek Adventures, a full-service paddling outfitter in Cornucopia, Wisconsin that also offers courses in outdoor skills, wilderness survival and traditional crafts within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfield, Wisconsin.
- A keen kayaker, he often took people out on boating trips. He was part of a team that uses camping, kayaking, skiing, swimming and other activities to help people overcome trauma or substance abuse. It was his goal to pursue a career in wilderness therapy.
- From 2009 to 2012, he attended West Allis Central High School. During his freshman year of high school, he went to his first protest in support of LGBTQ rights and his American Politics teacher excused him from class, USA Today has learned.
- On November 17, 2010, the West Allis Police Department arrested him for simple assault. His grandmother Janice A. Grosskreutz called the police and accused him of striking her across the face with an open hand during an argument.
- From 2013 to 2016, he attended Milwaukee Area Technical College at the Oak Creek, Wisconsin campus where he earned his emergency medical technician basic (EMT-B) certification.
- In 2016, he was convicted of a criminal misdemeanor for going armed with a firearm while intoxicated. He also had a forfeiture case for not showing obedience to officers and one for loud noises.
- He was part of a group of activists who demonstrated around Milwaukee to seek justice for George Floyd, who died on May 25, 2020, Milwaukee activist Bethany Crevensten told The Oklahoman.
- From June 2020 to July 2020, he volunteered as a medic for the Black Lives Matter protests around Milwaukee.
- After being shot by Rittenhouse on August 25, 2020, he was treated at two hospitals in Kenosha. Afterwards, Flight for Life airlifted him to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.
- He was 26 years old when he was shot by Rittenhouse on August 25, 2020.
- He studied outdoor education with an emphasis in program administration at Northland College in Ashland. He was expected to graduated in December 2020 but his education was put on hold after he was shot by Rittenhouse in Kenosha.
- When he testified in court on November 8, 2021, he explained why he was armed on August 25, 2020. He said, “I believe in the Second Amendment. I’m for people’s right to carry and bear arms and that night was no different than any other day. It’s keys, phone, wallet, gun.” Attorneys for him and the estate of Rosenbaum said two people “did not deserve to die that night” when Rittenhouse was found not guilty on one count of first-degree reckless homicide, two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment on November 19, 2021.