Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend told police investigators he was ‘scared to death’ moments before the shooting

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People gather with balloons for a vigil in memory of Breonna Taylor on June 6, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images
  • New audio of police interviews uncovers the moments leading up to the shooting of 26-year-old EMT, Breonna Taylor, after police entered her home back in March.
  • CNN reported that Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend told police he “was scared to death” when officers rammed into their Kentucky home.
  • The audio timestamps show that Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who led the raid, was interviewed two weeks after the incident, while Walker was interviewed just hours later.
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New audio from police interviews, first obtained by NBC News, provides new information about the moments leading up to the shooting of Breonna Taylor.

Taylor, an emergency medical technician, was killed by Louisville police officers in her own home during a “no-knock” warrant search on March 13. The officers entered her home and shot Taylor eight times. Police said they starting shooting after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot one of the entering officers.

The audio reveals Walker’s account of that night during an interview with the Louisville Metro Police Department hours after his girlfriend’s death. He said he and Taylor shouted “who is it?” after hearing multiple knocks at their door.

When they heard no response, the door “came off its hinges,” and he was “scared to death,” he said, according to CNN. Walker fired a shot at Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, the officer who led the raid, in his leg. He also said he was licensed to carry a gun.

“I’m licensed to carry, everything,” he said. “I’ve never even fired my gun outside of a range. I’m scared to death.”

Walker said the one shot he fired was meant to be a warning shot. “I’m trying to protect her,” he said.

In his own interview with police investigators, Mattingly said police knocked on the door and identified who they were, according to NBC News. The warrant didn’t require police to knock, but Mattingly said his team was “not going to go that route.”

“I probably banged on the door six or seven different time periods,” Mattingly told investigators, according to CNN. “Seems like an eternity when you’re up at a doorway. It probably lasted between 45 seconds and a minute.

The timestamps on the audio files also show that Mattingly was questioned by investigators two weeks after the incident, with a lawyer present, according to NBC News, while Walker was interviewed just hours later and without a lawyer.

It’s not clear why the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit took two weeks to speak to Mattingly, who was released from the hospital more than a week before the interview. The investigator, Jason Vance, also appeared to endorse Mattingly’s approach, calling his raid with seven officers “the most passive way to serve the warrant,” according to CNN.

Prosecutors have dropped the charges against Walker. One officer involved in the raid, Brett Hankison, has been fired. Kentucky state prosecutors say they are examining the case.

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