Audio tapes reveal new details the night Breonna Taylor was killed
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Police Department audio recordings released by NBC contain interrogations conducted after officers shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her apartment.
In the recordings, given to NBC by the attorney for Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, we hear the voices of Walker and LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, as they each describe what happened that night.
“The door like comes off the hinges so I just let off one shot, like I still can’t see who it is or anything,” Walker told police. “So now the door’s like flying open I let off one shot then all of a sudden there’s a whole lot of shots.”
Officers said they identified themselves before and after they broke open the door to Taylor’s apartment. Walker said the couple never heard the warnings.
“It was a lot of shots,” Walker said. “I seen for sure on her (Taylor), when I was right there with her, like three holes like in her leg. Then on the wall right behind where she was, there’s like four holes in the wall. You know, like it was a lot of shots.”
Police returned fire after Walker fired and struck Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg who entered the darkened apartment.
“As soon as the shot hit,” Mattingly said to investigators, “I could feel the heat in my leg. And so I just returned fire. I got four rounds off and it was like simultaneous, boom boom boom boom.”
Neither Walker or Mattingly could say how many shots other officers fired. Mattingly exited to safety, bleeding from an artery. Breonna Taylor died on the floor of her apartment.
Prior to police entering Taylor’s apartment, Mattingly described an argument between a neighbor and LMPD officer Brett Hankinson.
“I remember Brett extending his gun saying get back in your apartment, get back in your apartment,” Mattingly said. “Brett was a little bit worked up. And I remember at one point, because they kept exchanging, you know while we’re doing this, I remember looking at Brett saying Brett, relax. Brett just relax, relax. Because you know while you have to pay attention to them, that’s not your focus.”
Hankinson was later fired after it was determined he shot into Taylor’s apartment 10 times that night. He was accused of violating the department’s policy on the use of deadly force.
During the police interrogation, Walker also described a conversation with a uniformed officer at the scene as he was being taken into custody.
“And he asked me,” Walker said, “were you hit by any bullets? I said no. He said that’s unfortunate.”
The attorney for Breonna Taylor’s family, Benjamin Crump, released the following statement Thursday:
”The recorded statements of Kenny Walker and Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly released today clearly reveal that there has been a conspiracy to cover up Breonna’s killing since day one.”
Spokeswoman for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Jean Porter, expressed concern.
“We hope the premature release of this information doesn’t cause any sort of interference with ongoing investigations,” Porter said. “Both the FBI and the Attorney General have written letters asking us not to disseminate the investigative file, so we’re not going to comment further.”
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