Audio from LMPD Sgt. Jon Mattingly interview sheds new light on Taylor shooting

Audio from LMPD Sgt. Jon Mattingly interview sheds new light on Taylor shooting
Breonna Taylor (Source: Facebook)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - LMPD Sgt. Jon Mattingly, who led the deadly narcotics raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment four months ago, is heard giving his account for the first time in brand new audio just obtained by NBC News.

Mattingly and LMPD detectives Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison served the warrant at Taylor’s home on Springfield Drive back on March 13.

After they knocked on the door, the officers rammed their way into the apartment, prompting Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, to fire one shot at them, both sides have said. The officers then returned a barrage of gunfire, striking Taylor multiple times. The 26-year-old former EMT died lying in her hallway.

Thursday, NBC News posted an audio interview with Mattingly that he gave, voluntarily, to LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit nearly two weeks after the shooting.

Mattingly described the first moments of the raid when he fired a total of six rounds after he himself was struck in the leg by Walker’s lone shot.

“I got four rounds off, I know that,” Mattingly told the PIU. “As soon as he fired, I fired back ... boom boom boom boom. I stepped back and went down. I don’t know if my leg gave out.”

Mattingly had been hit in the femoral artery of his leg.

“And then (I) just came around and got two off, and then, just got out of the game, just let (the other officers) take over,” he said. “I didn’t want to get shot in the back of the head.”

One of the PIU’s investigators, Sgt. Jason Vance seemed to answer several questions he asked of Mattingly, as he was asking them, according to the audio published by NBC News. For example:

“That’s kind of like what I was getting to because of your positioning, you know, initially when you’re shot — and then rightfully so, you’re returning fire,” Vance said.

“Mm-hmm,” Mattingly said.

“But you know you just said you made a conscious decision, you know, ‘I’m now injured, I need to move, so they can protect themselves and me as well,’” Vance said. “And then, I don’t want to put words in your mouth ... "

“No, that’s it,” Mattingly said.

The “leading” interview caught the attention of an expert in high-risk policing and use-of-force.

“The point of an interview is getting unbiased information, and that’s not what he’s doing,” Geoffery Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina, told NBC News. “The questions are so leading, they’re basically giving him as much information as they’re getting.”

The three officers, as well as Det. Joshua Jaynes, who had secured a no-knock warrant for the raid, all were placed on administrative reassignment. Hankison was fired last month for “wantonly and blindly” firing 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment from outside.

Sgt. Jon Mattingly was injured during a shootout while trying to serve a warrant at Breonna Taylor's home in March.
Sgt. Jon Mattingly was injured during a shootout while trying to serve a warrant at Breonna Taylor's home in March. (Source: LMPD)

Mattingly told the interviewer that Hankison was “fired up” in the moments before the raid, drawing the attention of an upstairs neighbor whom Hankison demanded to get back inside his apartment.

“I remember looking at Brett saying, ‘Brett, relax,’” Mattingly said. “‘That’s not your focus.‘”

Walker was initially charged for the attempted murder of a police officer, then released from jail about two weeks later. In May, Jefferson County Attorney Tom Wine dropped that charge against Walker during a news conference at which he played audio excerpts from Walker’s interview with police just a few hours after the shooting. NBC News on Thursday released the full audio of Walker’s multiple interviews, totaling 98 minutes. Click here to listen to that audio.

Click here to listen to the full Mattingly interview, totaling 40 minutes.

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