Disturbing details from the night that Breonna Taylor was killed inside her home reveal that she was alive for several minutes after being shot multiple times by Louisville Metro Police officers. The night that Taylor was killed was her first day off after working several consecutive 12-hour shifts as an ER technician, according to an extensive report from the Louisville Courier-Journal.
As Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, dozed off from watching TV, police were preparing to raid her home. They assumed that she would be alone since the suspect tied to the alleged narcotics warrant had already been arrested at another location earlier that night. Taylor had no criminal record and no clear connection to the suspect. Nonetheless, when she and her boyfriend were woken up by knocks on the door they asked who it was but got no response.
Officers in plain clothes used a battering ram to break down Taylor’s door before opening fire at around 12:34 a.m. on March, 13. They fired more than 20 rounds. Walker fired back hitting Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg. Police immediately ran to Mattingly’s aid while Taylor was left untreated in her apartment. Authorities allege that they were unaware that Taylor was wounded inside the residence.
Walker said that he heard his girlfriend coughing and gasping for air as she lay dying. In an amended lawsuit filed on July 5, Taylor’s family alleges that she “fought for her life” for at least five minutes before succumbing to multiple gun shot wounds. He told investigators that Taylor was still alive and phoned her mother. However, the Jefferson County coroner asserts that Taylor likely died about a minute after being shot. Authorities reportedly took Walker into custody 15 minutes after the shooting, and didn’t inform dispatch that Taylor was inside the unit until nearly 30 minutes later.
“[Police were] yelling like, ‘Come out, come out, and I’m on the phone with her [mom],” Walker told investigators shortly after the shooting. “I’m still yelling because she’s over here coughing and like, I’m just freaking out.”
The LMPD claims that five shots were fired at Taylor, but failed to specify which of the officers, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, or Mattingly, fired the rounds. Hankison was fired from the LMPD. Crossgrove and Mattingly have been reassigned to administrative duties.
“This is a tragedy all around,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “You have an LMPD officer shot. His fellow officers rush to save him, not knowing if they will be shot at if they try to go inside, and not knowing that anyone has been hit. It is just a horrible tragedy that should never happen again.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is still investigated the case, along with the FBI. Though none of the officers have been arrested, several protestors were arrested earlier this week, including activist Tamika Mallory, Love & Hip Hop: New York’s Yandy Smith, and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams. The trio were among those apprehended and charged with felonies during a protest outside of Cameron’s home. The charges have since been dropped.