LOUISVILLE, Ky. A ballistic report from the Kentucky State Police does not support Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s claim that Breonna Taylor’s friend Kenneth Walker shot and killed a police officer the night she was killed.
Cameron said Wednesday the investigation into Taylor’s death on March 13 has ruled out “friendly fire” from Officer Brett Hankison as the source of the shot that went through Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly’s thighs caused him and officer Myles Cosgrove to return fire and kill Taylor.
The KSP report states that “due to limited markings of comparative value,” the 9mm bullet that hit and left Mattingly was not “identified or fired” by Walker’s weapon.
Cameron said Hankison was eliminated as a shooter because the three officers were carrying .40 caliber handguns while Walker had a 9.
Steven Romines, one of Walker’s attorneys, said on CNN Wednesday night that he had received a tape from the Louisville Metro Police Department showing that Hankison had also been issued a 9mm gun.
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Romines declined to share the record from Hankison’s personnel file with the Louisville Courier Journal, and LMPD spokeswoman Jessie Halladay said she could only publish it in response to a request for open records.
The Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, filed one, but the department didn’t respond.
Another Walker attorney, Rob Eggert, provided the ballistics report first reported by Vice.
Walker said he fired a single warning shot from his Glock pistol at Taylor’s apartment because he thought intruders would break in. The police said they had identified themselves. They tried to serve a knock-free search warrant just before March 13 at Taylor’s home as part of a drug investigation.
Cameron announced that Mattingly and Cosgrove had not been charged with any crime because they had the right to defend themselves. Hankison, who was released in June, was charged with three charges of wantonly endangering Taylor’s neighbors by firing gunshots that entered their apartment.
He was not accused of endangering Taylor.
Cameron declined to explain this discrepancy or answer 13 other questions about the case filed by the Courier Journal. His spokeswoman said on Saturday that the office was not planning interviews and could not speak about the grand jury’s process because of the confidentiality rules.
Cameron said last week that Mattingly fired six shots, Cosgrove 16 and Hankison 10, and Taylor was hit six times.
He said the FBI ballistics investigators concluded that Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor, but KSP was unable to determine whether Cosgrove or Mattingly fired that bullet.
The shot struck Taylor’s pulmonary artery, killing her within minutes.
The city of Louisville paid $ 12 million to settle a death warrant filed by Taylor’s estate and agreed to make numerous changes to law enforcement policies and procedures.
Follow reporter Andrew Wolfson on Twitter: @adwolfson.
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