Breonna Taylor's pregnant neighbor is suing Louisville police, saying they 'blindly fired' into her home

Darcy Costello, Louisville Courier Journal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Breonna Taylor's neighbor is suing the Louisville Metro Police officers who raided Taylor's apartment March 13 and killed her, claiming that their shots were "blindly fired" throughout the neighboring apartment and nearly struck a man inside.

The lawsuit, filed in May, says officers who were at Taylor's apartment to execute a search warrant went on to "spray gunfire into Chelsey Napper's apartment with a total disregard for the value of human life."

"A bullet that was shot from the defendant police officers' gun flew inches past Cody Etherton's head while he was in the hallway of Chelsey Napper's apartment," it states.

Napper was pregnant and had a child in the home.

Taylor's death and the night's events have launched protests in Louisville from hundreds of people demanding that the officers involved in her killing be fired and charged.

Damage to an apartment neighboring Breonna Taylor's home.

Provided by Sam Aguiar, an attorney representing her family.
Damage to an apartment neighboring Breonna Taylor's home. Provided by Sam Aguiar, an attorney representing her family.

Officers arrived at Taylor's apartment before 1 a.m. with a no-knock search warrant in connection with a narcotics investigation. Taylor was not the main subject of that case, but her name and address were on the warrant.

Police have said they knocked and announced their presence before breaking down the door with a battering ram. But Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has maintained that he thought intruders were breaking in.

He fired a shot and struck Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the femoral artery. Officers fired more than 20 rounds in return.

The suit claims that gunshots struck objects in Napper's living room, dining room, kitchen and hallway. Her sliding glass door also was shattered, as seen in photos provided by Taylor's family's attorney Sam Aguiar.

It also accuses the officers of failing to use "sound reasonable judgment" when firing "blind shots into multiple homes."

Napper, along with her child and the man at the residence, are seeking damages and a trial by jury against the three officers: Mattingly and officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove.

A request for comment left with Napper's attorney was not immediately returned.

No attorneys were listed for Mattingly, Hankison and Cosgrove. It's not clear if they've acquired legal representation.

Claims in a lawsuit are not evidence and represent only one side of the allegations.

The three officers also are the subject of a lawsuit from Taylor's family, as well as investigations being conducted by Louisville Metro Police's Public Integrity Unit and the FBI.

Photos from Aguiar of Taylor's apartment show widespread damage: Bullet holes in a clock, a blue cooking pot, a wooden chair and a full-length mirror. They hit walls, the ceiling and window curtains.

Aguiar's photos also included a neighboring apartment, where he said a 5-year-old child and a pregnant mother were home. There, a shattered patio door and multiple bullet holes can be seen.

Nearby residents placed 911 calls as gunfire erupted in Taylor's apartment, some unaware that police were already on the scene.

Follow Darcy Costello on Twitter: @dctello.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Breonna Taylor's neighbor sues Louisville police after shooting