Andrew Wolfson, Louisville Courier Journal
Published 1:39 p.m. ET Sept. 27, 2020 | Updated 4:30 p.m. ET Sept. 27, 2020
Breonna Taylor’s death has gained increasing international attention after Wednesday’s announcement that no officers would be indicted for her death.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky State Police ballistics report does not support state Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s assertion that Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot a police officer the night she was killed.
Cameron said Wednesday the investigation of Taylor’s death March 13 ruled out “friendly fire” from officer Brett Hankison as the source of the shot that went through Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly’s thigh, prompting him and officer Myles Cosgrove to return fire, killing Taylor.
The KSP report says that “due to limited markings of comparative value,” the 9mm bullet that hit and exited Mattingly was neither “identified nor eliminated as having been fired” from Walker’s gun.
Cameron said Hankison had been eliminated as the shooter because the three officers carried .40-caliber handguns, while Walker had a 9.
Wednesday night on CNN, Steven Romines, one of Walker’s attorneys, said he obtained a Louisville Metro Police Department record showing Hankison had been issued a 9mm weapon as well.
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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 release it only in response to an open records request.
The Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, filed one, but the department hasn’t responded.
Another attorney for Walker, Rob Eggert, provided the ballistic report, which was first reported by Vice.
Walker said he fired a single warning shot from his Glock handgun at Taylor’s apartment because he thought intruders were breaking in. Police said they had identified themselves. They were attempting to serve a “no-knock” search warrant shortly before 1 a.m. March 13 at Taylor’s home as part of a narcotics investigation.
Cameron announced Mattingly and Cosgrove were not charged with any crime because they had a right to defend themselves. Hankison, who was fired in June, was charged with three counts of wantonly endangering Taylor’s neighbors by firing shots that entered their apartment.
He was not charged with endangering Taylor.
Cameron declined to explain that discrepancy or respond to 13 other questions about the case submitted by The Courier Journal. His spokeswoman said Saturday that the office was not scheduling interviews and couldn’t talk about the grand jury proceedings because of secrecy rules governing them.
Cameron said last week that Mattingly fired six shots, Cosgrove 16 and Hankison 10, and Taylor was hit six times.
He said FBI ballistic examiners concluded Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor, but KSP couldn’t determine whether Cosgrove or Mattingly fired that bullet.
The shot hit Taylor’s pulmonary artery, killing her within minutes.
The city of Louisville paid $12 million to settle a wrongful death suit filed by Taylor’s estate and agreed to make numerous changes in Police Department policies and procedures.
Follow reporter Andrew Wolfson on Twitter: @adwolfson.
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