LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Bullets tore through Breonna Taylor’s first-floor apartment, shells and casings scattered from the parking lot to the living room, kitchen, bedroom and hallway. At least five bullets struck other units.
Photos taken by Louisville Metro Police investigators after the early-morning March 13 raid show at least 34 shell casings in and around Taylor’s Springfield Drive home, where police were serving a warrant connected to a drug investigation.
The 1,232 photos from the now-closed criminal case of Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, show for the first time the scope of the shooting that occurred after officers used a battering ram to enter the apartment after 12:30 a.m. WDRB News obtained the photos on Thursday.
Attorney Steve Romines, who represents Walker in a lawsuit against Metro Louisville, Kentucky state government and city police, said in an interview Thursday night that Taylor’s home looked like a "war zone."
"I’ve been doing criminal defense for 30 years, and I’ve never seen a crime scene like this," he said. "The various trajectories of the bullets that they fired, I mean, they’re literally wildly shooting. They’re in various walls. They’re in the ceilings. They’re in the floors. You know, they’re through pots and pans in the kitchen. I mean, they’re just shooting everywhere."
Photos show at least 10 bullets flew into Taylor's apartment from the sliding glass door in the living room and the bedroom window. Both had the blinds drawn.
One of the officers who fired shots during the raid, Brett Hankison, was fired in June.
Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder wrote in his termination letter that Hankison "wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds" into a patio door and window of Taylor's apartment, creating a "substantial danger of death and serious injury" to Taylor and three residents of other apartments in the complex near Pleasure Ridge Park.
In the photos taken by LMPD, there are at least five bullet holes in two other apartments besides Taylor’s: A unit across the hall and one upstairs.
Schroeder also wrote that Hanksion "displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life" when serving the warrant at Taylor's home.
Hankinson is appealing his firing to the Louisville Police Merit Board.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly was shot in the leg during the raid. Police say Walker fired a single shot from the hallway of the apartment, striking Mattingly. Walker claims he and Taylor did not hear the officers announce that they were police and believed someone was breaking into the apartment.
Another officer, Myles Cosgrove also fired his weapon. He and Mattingly are both on administrative leave as the investigation continues.
Walker's gun, a Glock 43x, was photographed near the bed in the bedroom.
Jefferson Circuit Judge Mary Shaw approved the "no-knock" warrant for the raid, allowing the undercover narcotics detectives to burst in without announcing their presence.
Their main target was Jamarcus Glover, a felon with a history of drug charges who had dated Taylor previously. Police argued in an affidavit for the search warrant that they believed Glover was using Taylor's apartment for deliveries.
No drugs or money were found in Taylor's apartment, according to a police inventory log.
Photos show several pieces of mail addressed to Glover that were found in Taylor's apartment including envelopes from Chase bank and AT&T.
Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer. Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine later dismissed the case without prejudice, which means Walker could still be indicted later.
Although Shaw approved a "no-knock" warrant, police claim they identified themselves and knocked on Taylor's door before using a battering ram to enter the unit.
In Mattingly’s interview with the department’s Public Integrity Unit, he said police spent 45 seconds to 1 minute knocking on the door, or "more than enough time for the average person, or even a disabled person, to get to the door in a small apartment."
Once inside the unit, Mattingly told investigators he moved out from the doorway and saw a man and a woman standing "shoulder to shoulder," with the man, Walker, in a "shooting stance." He said he saw the barrel of a gun before he was shot; after that he said he fired four rounds before trying to leave the apartment.
But in a press conference on Tuesday, Romines said he believes it is "much more likely" that police accidentally shot Mattingly, saying officers fired more than 30 rounds.
The police photos show Taylor lying at the end of the hallway by the bedroom.
Earlier this week, Walker sued Kentucky and Louisville Metro governments and at least 13 current or former city police officers, accusing police and other authorities of making a false arrest and negligence, among other claims.
His attorneys also claim that the state's "stand your ground" law protects Walker and other Kentuckians from arrest and other charges when they act to protect themselves.
The suit, filed in Jefferson Circuit Court, asks for a jury trial, unspecified monetary damages and a ruling preventing Walker from further prosecution.
"It is the definition of a reckless indifference of the value of human life," Romines said. "I mean, if you go to a house, and you don’t know who’s in there, and you just start shooting in the door, without knowing who’s there, that is a reckless indifference of the value of human life."
Taylor's death prompted protests in Louisville and around the country, with some calling for the officers involved in the raid to be criminally charged.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office is conducting an investigation of the shooting, along with separate inquiries by the FBI.
Reporter Jason Riley contributed.
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