Detective who shot Breonna Taylor says he ‘did what I thought was right’ that night | Depth

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Former Louisville Metro Police Officer. Myles Cosgrove said he regrets shooting Breonna Taylor but has “no doubt” that he and Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly’s life would be in danger if he hadn’t started a fire from “a shadow” in her apartment.

“I did what I thought was right that evening,” Cosgrove told the Louisville Police Commendation Commission Tuesday during the third day of testimony in his termination appeal. “I am dealing with the deadly threat that is in front of me.”

Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, fired a shot at the officer, hitting Mattingly in the leg. Walker later said he believed police were the intruders who broke into the apartment just before 1 a.m. on March 13, 2020.

Police shot and killed Taylor, 26, in the hallway of her apartment during an undercover raid on her home on Springfield Drive as part of a series of raids elsewhere targeting trafficking. selling drugs. Cosgrove fired the fatal shot and was fired by the LMPD in January.

No drugs or money were found in her home.

Asked by his attorney if he regretted Taylor being shot dead, Cosgrove paused for a long moment:

“Of course I do,” he told the board. “It was horrible. It made me question[my]beliefs. It’s so powerful to have taken a life and have to live with it. I can’t explain to you the regret and what grief has caused me.”

In November, former director Yvette Gentry testified that she “Didn’t believe I could put the gun and badge back on” Cosgrove took action “and brought him back into the community” following his claims of shooting Taylor.

Gentry told the board that Cosgrove never identified the target and fired 16 shots in different directions after he and other officers stormed Taylor’s home.

But Cosgrove said he saw a flashing muzzle and “a shape,” and although he didn’t hear gunshots or see a gun, he knew Mattingly was hit.

He told the council that the “human figure” had shot Mattingly “right in front of me” on the right side of the hallway.

“Without a doubt, it was the form that was shooting at me, right in front of me,” he said.

But Cosgrove still finds it hard to believe he opened fire more than four times and was unable to identify Walker shortly after he opened fire. In addition, he told the board that if investigators told him he didn’t fire a gun at all, he would believe them.

“It’s hard to describe something that happens in the blink of an eye,” Cosgrove said, estimating that the shot lasted about five seconds.

And while Cosgrove testified on Tuesday that he believed his shots went to the right of the hallway, at the person who fired at the officers, some of his 16 shots were completely off target. spend, including in Taylor’s kitchen.

Cosgrove testified that when Mattingly fell, he bumped into him “violently,” which could have resulted in several off-target shots.

“I accept responsibility for those shots, but I believe that my and John’s lives are in danger,” he said. “You have to understand, we’re not in (the shooting range), and it’s a developing situation… I know we’re being shot. When you know something, you know something. “

Gentry previously testified that in three different interviews with investigators, Cosgrove was unable to state the reason for the number of shots fired or justify that he saw a threat where it was needed. there must have been deadly force, as he had never seen a gun, heard a shot and described as seeing light. lights and a blurry silhouette.

“You fire 16 rounds, and they go in three different directions, and you say you don’t hear and you don’t see” a specific threat, Gentry said in November. “I don’t have enough confidence. ” to keep him.

The FBI determined Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor.

Mattingly also returned fire, firing six shots toward the target he identified. He has resigned from the department.

“All of his shots were directed at the threat he identified, and he moved out of that path,” Gentry previously said of Mattingly.

Cosgrove said he stopped firing when Mattingly came out of the “death funnel,” a restricted corridor.

“You have to rescue that officer,” Cosgrove said when asked what officers are taught to do when an officer is fired. “You’re trying to stop more violence and save a life.”

Since the shooting, Cosgrove said his life and that of his children were at stake, he was forced to move and “the department turned me down.”

When asked by a board member why he would fight to get his job back if the department had turned him down, Cosgrove said it was a matter of principle.

“It’s a matter of honor,” he said, adding that the termination discredits him and other members of his profession “just to fit their story.” .

On September 23, 2020, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that only one officer, Brett Hankison, will be indicted in the raid..

Cameron told reporters that his office and the Jefferson County grand jury both agreed that Mattingly and Cosgrove were “justifiable” in re-shooting the first shot by Walker.

The Louisville Police Commendation Board will hear additional testimony on Wednesday.

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