Family of man killed at Shively Animal Clinic seeks justice

On Sunday, the family of Trent “TJ” Taylor hosted a rally at Jefferson Square Park.
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 11:46 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The family of a man killed at an animal hospital is demanding justice.

On Sunday, the family of Trent “TJ” Taylor hosted a rally at Jefferson Square Park.

Two weeks ago, TJ was shot and killed during a disagreement with a pet owner at Shively Animal Clinic.

“You can buy another dog, but I cannot buy another grandson,” TJ’s grandmother, Melissa Jackson said. “He was standing up for his coworkers. He was being a man that was supposed to protect his family. If you saw someone attacking your family, wouldn’t you want to do something to help or would you stand there and let them be attacked?”

Two weeks ago, Shively police reports say officers were dispatched on a report of a verbal altercation that quickly escalated.

Witnesses say TJ stepped in to protect his coworkers before he was shot. His death stirred up the conversation over what qualifies as self-defense in Kentucky.

“Why did you attack him if it was self-defense?” TJ’s father, Trent Taylor asked. “You had a chance to get in you car but you didn’t. You pursued my son and decided to attack. The moment he decided to defend himself you took his life for no reason on Mother’s day.”

Reports say at least a dozen people, including TJ’s mother, witnessed the fatal altercation.

Jennifer Taylor, TJ’s mother, also works at Shively Animal Clinic. The pain of her son’s death is felt by veterinarians across the nation.

“This is a fear in the veterinary industry,” Jennifer said. “That someone is going to attack or shoot them. Pet owners try to hold us emotionally hostage. We want to help you, but there are situations where we can’t.”

As the investigation continues, TJ’s family said they will continue to rally until justice is served. 

Earlier this month Shively police handed the investigation over to the office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. The family said they’ve called for updates and haven’t heard back.