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Videos: 2 Louisville cops shot during riots over Breonna Taylor charges

Police car lights. (Alexandru Cuznetov/Dreamstime/TNS)
September 24, 2020

Two Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers were shot Wednesday night during unrest hours after a grand jury announcement of charges in the March police shooting of Breonna Taylor.

The LMPD was live-streaming its protest response at the time shots rang out Wednesday night. In the video, Police in riot gear are seen marching down a street, launching crowd control munitions to disperse a crowd before a series of gunshots is heard. The camera operator then runs behind cover and announces, “Shots fired.”

The shooting incident occurs at around the 37-minute mark in the live stream.

Moments later in the video, the camera operator points across a street and says, “Right there, right there, officer down.”

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Interim LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder provided a press statement following the attack on LMPD officers. Schroeder said the officers were responding to a report of shots fired while a large crowd was in the area, and as they were deploying to the scene, shots rang out and struck two officers.

Schroeder said the injuries both officers sustained were not life-threatening. One officer was alert and stable, while the other was undergoing surgery, but considered stable at the time of the press statement.

Schroeder also announced a suspect had been taken into custody, but did not immediately provide details. WLKY reported Thursday morning that the suspect has since been identified as Larynzo Johnson. He has reportedly been charged with 14 counts of wanton endangerment on a police officer and two counts of assault on a police officer.

The attack on LMPD officers came hours after a grand jury indictment against one of the officers serving a search warrant at Breonna Taylor’s home. Taylor was killed when officers returned fire after being shot at.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said on Wednesday afternoon that the officers did not enter on a “no knock” warrant, as previously reported, and announced their presence before entering.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, admitted to hearing knocking at the door and firing at the police officers first, in what he said was self-defense. One of Walker’s bullets struck LMPD Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly. Walker was previously charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but charges were later dropped.

Officer Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove and Officer Brett Hankinson returned fire, killing Taylor, who was in the apartment at the time the warrant was being served. Hankinson was the only officer charged in the incident and faces three counts, including a Class D felony charge of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing shots that endangered other apartments neighboring Taylor’s.

Within hours of the announced indictment, protests had sprung up throughout Louisville and Mayor Greg Fischer issued a county-wide curfew order from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. for the ensuing 72-hour period.