2 officers shot during protests in Louisville
2 police officers shot during chaos, protests in Louisville, Ky.; Fox News correspondent Mark Meredith reports.
The Louisville Metro Police Department announced Thursday nearly 100 arrests were made overnight amid demonstrations following a grand jury decision to charge only one officer in connection to the police operation that killed Breonna Taylor, but not her death.
A suspect accused in shooting two Louisville police officers during protests Wednesday evening has also been identified. Larynzo Johnson, 26, has been charged with wanton endangerment and assault of a police officer. He will be arraigned Friday.
Larynzo John was charged in connection to a shooting that wounded two Louisville Metro police officers during Breonna Taylor protests.
Shots rang out when Louisville police officers were conducting crowd control operations at Broadway and Brook Street “in response to a large crowd that had set fires, caused property damage and failed to disperse after being warned,” according to the post-arrest complaint filed in Jefferson County.
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Johnson “intentionally used a handgun to fire multiple bullets at officers” addressing the crowd, the complaint said. Two officers were struck by bullets causing serious physical injury. Police said witnesses spotted Johnson firing a handgun at officers and running from the scene.
The complaint said he was also in possession of a handgun at the time of his arrest and law enforcement recovered video of the shooting showing the suspect fire at officers.
A police statement first obtained by the Associated Press said some people were arrested in Louisville, Ky., after damaging businesses and more were detained after jumping on city vehicles being used as barricades. Later, protesters who refused orders to disperse were arrested for curfew and unlawful assembly violations.
Police also said some businesses were looted early Thursday, including two City Gear stores and a pawn shop.
Mayor Greg Fischer had announced a curfew in effect from 9 p.m. Wednesday until 6:30 a.m. Thursday.
In relation to the officer-involved shooting, Interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said officers were responding to calls about shots fired and a large crowd in the area around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. While deploying, he said shots rang out on First and Broadway, and two officers were hit.
Police and protesters converge, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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The shooting happened about a half-hour before a curfew went into effect. FBI Louisville said the shooting occurred amid “First Amendment-protected peaceful demonstrations” and urged anyone with videos or photos of the incident to provide them using an online submission form on the agency's website.
Schroeder declined to go into detail about the injuries but said those sustained by both officers were non-life-threatening. The officers were being treated at University Hospital. One was alert and stable, while the second was undergoing surgery and was in stable condition.
“I am very concerned about the safety of our officers,” Schroeder said at a press conference around 10 p.m. ET. “Recently, we’ve had two officers shot tonight and that is very serious, that is a very dangerous position. I think the safety of our officers and the community we serve is of the utmost importance.”
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He said the department would not release the names of the wounded officers at that time. The police department did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment on Thursday.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a video message late Wednesday that one individual shot two law enforcement officers, before urging people who remained on the streets to go home and peacefully protest in the days to come without violence.
President Trump on Wednesday night tweeted he was "Praying for the two police officers that were shot tonight in Louisville, Kentucky. The Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help. Spoke to @GovAndyBeshear and we are prepared to work together, immediately upon request!"
Mayor Fischer tweeted late Wednesday, "Our hearts go out to the two @LMPD officers who were shot. Please pray for them and their families, & pray for our city, and all who are in pain today. For anyone who is still out, please go home tonight. Violence doesn't get us closer to a fair, just and equitable city."
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Protests broke out in Louisville after a Jefferson County grand jury decided Wednesday to indict one officer involved in the police operation that killed Taylor.
Brett Hankison, who was fired from Louisville Metro Police in June, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for firing rounds into Taylor’s neighbor’s apartment, endangering the lives of three residents who were home at the time. He was not charged in connection to Taylor's death.
(SHELBY COUNTY DETENTION CENTER)
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Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said his office would not pursue criminal charges against the other two officers involved in the March 13 operation. Officer Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who was shot in the leg during the raid, were justified under Kentucky state law in their use of force since they were fired upon by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, Cameron said.
FBI ballistics determined that Cosgrove fired the fatal shot that killed Taylor.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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