Officer shot during Breonna Taylor incident says her shooting 'not a race thing'

ALLIE YANG, ERIN BRADY and JOSEPH DIAZ
·3 min read

For the first time, the police officer injured in Breonna Taylor's shooting death is speaking out -- Jonathan Mattingly sat down for an exclusive interview with ABC News and Louisville's Courier Journal Tuesday.

Mattingly told "Good Morning America" co-anchor Michael Strahan that he felt "mostly frustration" as he watched months of protests across the country in reaction to Taylor's death.

"There was so much misinformation out, all these false narratives," said Mattingly, who fired his weapon six times the night Taylor, a 26-year-old certified emergency medical technician, died in March.

"This is not relatable to George Floyd. It's nothing like it. This is not Ahmaud Arbery, it's nothing like it," he said. "It's not a race thing, like people wanna try to make it to be. ... This is the point where we're doing our job, we return fire. This is not us hunting somebody down, not kneeling on a neck. This is nothing like that."

For more on the exclusive ABC News/The Courier Journal interview with Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, tune into "Good Morning America" tomorrow at 7 a.m. ET on ABC.

ABC News/Louisville Courier Journal graphic. (ABC News/Louisville Courier Journal)
ABC News/Louisville Courier Journal graphic. (ABC News/Louisville Courier Journal)

Mattingly says Taylor's boyfriend, 27-year-old Kenneth Walker, shot him in the leg when police barged into the apartment. An FBI ballistics report confirmed Mattingly was shot by Walker.

Walker, a licensed gun owner, told investigators he fired because he didn't know who entered the residence. Walker initially was charged with attempted murder of a police officer following the incident, but those charges have since been dropped.

On March 13, Taylor and Walker were sleeping at her home when Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Mattingly, officer Myles Cosgrove and former police officer Brett Hankison executed a "no-knock" search warrant. The plainclothes officers were investigating a suspected drug operation allegedly linked to Taylor's ex-boyfriend.

PHOTO: 'Good Morning America' co-anchor Michael Strahan interviews Jonathan Mattingly in an exclusive sit down with ABC News and Louisville's Courier Journal. (ABC News/The Louisville Courier Journal)
PHOTO: 'Good Morning America' co-anchor Michael Strahan interviews Jonathan Mattingly in an exclusive sit down with ABC News and Louisville's Courier Journal. (ABC News/The Louisville Courier Journal)

The officers fired 32 bullets into her apartment, according to a ballistics report from the Kentucky State Police in September. An FBI ballistics analysis later determined the fatal shot that hit Taylor came from Cosgrove's .40-caliber weapon.

Walker fired the first shot. While police say that they did announce themselves, Walker has since filed a civil lawsuit against the Louisville Police Department, claiming the officers never announced themselves before they forced open Taylor's door.

PHOTO: A graphic released by the Associated Press on Sept. 23, 2020, shows the charges brought in the Breonna Taylor death case. (AP)
PHOTO: A graphic released by the Associated Press on Sept. 23, 2020, shows the charges brought in the Breonna Taylor death case. (AP)

In September, a Jefferson County grand jury didn’t indict Mattingly, Cosgrove or Hankison in the death of Taylor.

MORE: Ballistics report raises questions in Breonna Taylor shooting

Hankison was indicted on three felony counts of wanton endangerment, for firing shots into Taylor's apartment that hit a neighbor's wall. He has pleaded not guilty to the these charges.

MORE: Breonna Taylor shooting case: Hankison indicted on wanton endangerment of neighbors

PHOTO: Protestors march in the street during a demonstration on Sept. 23, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Protestors march in the street during a demonstration on Sept. 23, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images, FILE)

Kentucky State Attorney General Daniel Cameron stated that Cosgrove and Mattingly were justified in their use of force.

Earlier Tuesday, a judge ruled that all 12 jurors can now speak publicly about the grand jury proceedings. One of those jurors released a statement saying they were only presented with the three wanton endangerment charges against Hankinson and they did not have homicide offenses explained to them.

ABC News' Bill Hutchinson, Mollie Riegger and Jenn Leong contributed to this report.

Officer shot during Breonna Taylor incident says her shooting 'not a race thing' originally appeared on abcnews.go.com