Firearms experts say that a ballistics report from Kentucky State Police supports Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s (R) claim that Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend fired the shot that wounded a Louisville officer in the raid that resulted in Taylor’s death.
According to the Louisville Courier Journal, the report challenges previous analysis that Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly was wounded by “friendly fire” from other officers involved in the March incident. Instead, experts are saying the 9 mm round that hit Mattingly came from the gun of Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Walker had previously admitted to firing one shot from his legally owned handgun.
Experts who spoke to the Courier Journal challenged the report’s finding that “due to limited markings of comparative value,” the 9 mm bullet that hit Mattingly’s thigh was neither “identified nor eliminated as having been fired” from Walker’s gun.
Charles Stephenson, a Kansas City-based firearms instructor and security consultant who is also a former FBI agent, told the Courier Journal in an email that the recovery of the bullet at the scene, as well as Walker’s admission, provide reasonable evidence to assume that Walker was the shooter.
Melissa Oberg, an Indianapolis firearms examiner, also confirmed this assertion to the local news outlet.
However, one of Walker’s attorneys, Steve Romines, maintains that Walker did not fire the shot that wounded Mattingly, telling the Courier Journal that it was not possible to determine the officer was shot with a 9 mm bullet “because no round was recovered from him” and that the wounds caused by a 9 mm and a 40 caliber round are too similar in size to distinguish.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was killed after police shot her while acting on a no-knock warrant for her ex-boyfriend.
A Louisville grand jury decided last month to charge one officer, Brett Hankison, with three counts of wanton endangerment after bullets from his weapon went through Taylor’s wall into a neighbor’s apartment. None of the officers involved in the raid on Taylor’s apartment received any charges related to her death.
He also argued that officers Myles Cosgrove and Mattingly were justified in their use of deadly force because of Walker’s shot that hit Mattingly in the upper thigh.