Witness says one of the men Kyle Rittenhouse shot had carried a gun with a bullet in the chamber, ready to be fired
- A Marine veteran said he picked up the pistol of one of the men
Kyle Rittenhousehad shot and found a bullet in the chamber.
- Jason Lackowski said he encountered Rittenhouse looking "frazzled" and "in shock" just after the
A Marine veteran who guarded a Kenosha car dealership alongside Kyle Rittenhouse in August 2020 testified Friday that one of the men Rittenhouse shot had been holding a gun with a bullet in the chamber, ready to be fired.
Jason Lackowski was the sixth witness prosecutors called upon to testify in the
Lackowski, like Rittenhouse, had traveled to Kenosha on August 25, 2020, with an AR-15 rifle and a bag of medical gear. Lackowski said his intent was to protect local businesses amid the civil unrest and racial justice protests that had erupted in downtown Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Lackowski testified he did not spend much time that evening with Rittenhouse, who he said misrepresented himself as a licensed EMT.
But Lackowski said he ran into Rittenhouse just after the shootings, when the then-17-year-old ran up to him looking "frazzled" and "in shock." Rittenhouse told him he had not shot anyone, Lackowski testified.
Lackowski testified that he directed Rittenhouse to the police officers down the block, then "blacked out" briefly. Then he said he came across a man named Gaige Grosskreutz, who was on the ground, screaming, and had just been shot in the arm.
Lackowski said he helped apply a tourniquet to Grosskreutz's arm just before police arrived, then spotted the gun Grosskreutz had been holding just minutes earlier. He said he picked up the gun from the ground and "dropped the magazine and emptied the chamber."
One of Rittenhouse's defense attorneys, Corey Chirafisi, asked whether Lackowski found a bullet in the chamber. Lackowski said he did.
"In your training and experience, was that gun ready fo be fired?" Chirafisi asked.
"Yes," Lackowski replied.
Grosskreutz can be seen in videos and photos from that evening wielding a small, black handgun while approaching Rittenhouse, who was on the ground, just before Rittenhouse opened fire. Prosecutors said Grosskreutz is expected to testify on November 8.
Lackowski also testified Friday about the first man Rittenhouse shot, Joseph Rosenbaum, who later died. Lackowski said he had seen Rosenbaum earlier that evening behaving "belligerently" and like "a babbling idiot."
"He had asked, very bluntly, to shoot him," Lackowski said. "He did a few what I would call false-stepping. Making a step to entice someone to do something. After he had done that a few times, I turned my back and ignored him."
Two previous witnesses called by the prosecution both emphasized that Rosenbaum appeared to pose a threat to Rittenhouse. Their testimony could boost Rittenhouse's self-defense claim, as the teenager's attorneys have argued that Rittenhouse feared for his life that night and had good reason to think Rosenbaum could take his rifle and use it against him.
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