Minutes after Breonna Taylor was shot eight times in her apartment, her boyfriend Kenneth Walker was not aware the shooters were police, according to a 911 call he made to report the shooting.
Audio of Walker’s call was provided to WFPL by a lawyer for Taylor’s family, Sam Aguiar, hours before a Metro Council meeting in which members were set to consider an emergency resolution intended to push for the government to release that call.
Walker’s first words to the dispatcher demonstrate his confusion.
“I don’t know what’s happening,” he says. “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”
The dispatcher asks her age. She’s 26, Walker says.
The dispatcher asks if she’s alert and able to speak. No, Walker says.
The dispatcher confirms the address, Walker’s name, Taylor’s age. Walker wails for help.
The dispatcher asks where Taylor was shot. He thinks in her stomach.
The dispatcher asks if Walker can turn Taylor over, to see where she’s been shot. He repeats, “Oh my god!” He hangs up. The call lasts approximately two minutes and nine seconds.
Dispatch calls back. Walker doesn’t answer.
On Tuesday, a judge dismissed charges of attempting to murder a police officer and first degree assault against Walker, who had been awaiting trial under house arrest. That came after Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine moved to dismiss the charges, citing a lack of evidence presented to the grand jury that indicted Walker.
During a press conference last week announcing his decision, Wine discussed the 911 call, which Walker told police he made between calls to his and Taylor’s mothers. Wine did not discuss the content of the call, but played tape of Walker describing it as a brief conversation during which he did not know the shooters were police.
Walker, through his attorney, has maintained that he fired a warning shot at police in self-defense because he did not know who was entering the apartment during the after-midnight raid. His shot struck one of the officers, Jonathan Mattingly, in the leg. He underwent surgery and recovered.
Supporters of Walker and Taylor have criticized his incarceration and, in recent days, celebrated his release. But calls for the officers involved to be fired and charged for Taylor’s killing are ongoing. Mattingly and two other officers, Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison, were placed on administrative reassignment following the shooting. A spokeswoman for Louisville Metro Police declined to name the other police officers who were on the scene.
Mayor Greg Fischer is scheduled to host a town hall discussion on Facebook Live to discuss police and community relations in the context of Taylor’s killing Thursday evening.
The Courier-Journal first published audio of Walker’s call. The newspaper is in the midst of an appeal to Kentucky’s attorney general over MetroSafe’s refusal to release the tape.
An hour and a half after that article was published, Fischer’s office distributed a press release including the audio and transcript of the same call as well as others from neighbors attempting to report the shooting.
Fischer said his administration responded earlier today to a subpoena from a lawyer for Taylor’s family and subsequently decided to release all the 911 calls related to the case publicly. In a statement, he repeated his calls for truth and justice.