LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky State Police ballistics report does not support State Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s claim that Breonna Taylor’s fiancé Kenneth Walker shot a police officer the night she was killed.
Cameron said Wednesday that the investigation into Taylor’s March 13 death ruled out Officer Brett Hankison’s “friendly fire” as the source of the gunshot that the sergeant suffered. Jonathan Mattingly’s thigh, prompting him and Officer Myles Cosgrove to return fire, killing Taylor.
The KSP report states that “due to limited marks of comparative value,” the 9mm bullet that struck and exited Mattingly was not “identified or eliminated as being fired” by Walker’s gun.
Cameron said Hankison was eliminated as a shooter because the three officers carried .40 caliber pistols, while Walker had a 9.
On Wednesday night on CNN, Steven Romines, one of Walker’s attorneys, said he obtained a Louisville Metro Police Department record showing that Hankison also received a 9mm gun.
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Romines refused to share the record from Hankison’s personal file with The Louisville Courier Journal, and LMPD spokesperson Jessie Halladay said she could only release it in response to a request for open records.
The Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY network, submitted one, but the department did not respond.
Another Walker attorney, Rob Eggert, provided the ballistic report, which was first reported by Vice.
Walker said he fired a single warning shot from his Glock pistol at Taylor’s apartment because he thought the intruders were breaking in. Police said they had identified themselves. They were attempting to serve a “no-knock” search warrant shortly before 1am on March 13 at Taylor’s home as part of a narcotics investigation.
Cameron announced that Mattingly and Cosgrove were not charged with any crime because they had the right to defend themselves. Hankison, who was fired in June, was charged with three counts of arbitrarily endangering Taylor’s neighbors by firing shots that entered their apartment.
He was not accused of endangering Taylor.
Cameron declined to explain this discrepancy or to answer 13 other questions about the case from The Courier Journal. His spokesperson said Saturday that the office was not scheduling the talks and could not talk about the grand jury proceedings due to the secrecy rules governing them.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron says police had a right to defend themselves when Breonna Taylor fired on them. (Photo: Alton Strupp / Courier Journal)
Cameron said last week that Mattingly fired six shots, Cosgrove 16 and Hankison 10, and Taylor was shot six times.
He said FBI ballistic examiners concluded that Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor, but KSP couldn’t determine if Cosgrove or Mattingly fired that bullet.
The City of Louisville paid $ 12 million to settle a manslaughter lawsuit filed by the Taylor estate and agreed to make numerous changes to the police department’s policies and procedures.
Follow reporter Andrew Wolfson on Twitter: @adwolfson.
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