Gunman Shoots Cop, Judge Releases Would-Be Killer To Home Incarceration
Louisville, KY – A gunman arrested for attempted murder of a Louisville police sergeant during a recent drug raid has been released to house arrest while he awaits trial.
The attack occurred at an apartment in the 300-block of Springfield Drive at approximately 1 a.m. on March 13, WDRB reported.
Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Criminal Interdiction Division Sergeant John Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove, and Detective Brent Hankison had gone to the residence to execute a search warrant pertaining to a narcotics investigation, LMPD Public Integrity Unit Spokesperson Ted Eidem said during a press conference.
The officers knocked on the door repeatedly and announced their presence before forcing their way inside, WDRB reported.
They were “immediately met by gunfire,” Eidem said.
Sgt. Mattingly was shot in the upper thigh during the attack, lacerating his femoral artery, WHAS reported.
The three officers immediately returned fire as they made their way to safety, according to WDRB.
The gunman, 27-year-old Kenneth Walker, ultimately surrendered to police.
When the LMPD’s SWAT team searched the residence, they located 26-year-old Breonna Taylor unresponsive inside, WDRB reported.
Taylor had been fatally shot during the exchange of gunfire.
Sgt. Mattingly was rushed to the hospital and taken into surgery, WDRB reported.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
Walker was booked into jail on a charge of attempted murder of a police officer, and his bond was initially set at $250,000.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge the following day, according to WDRB.
Taylor’s family claimed that Walker shot at the officers in self-defense, and said that Taylor was not connected with the suspect police were searching for, WHAS reported.
“This is not a woman who would sacrifice her life and her family morals and values to sell drugs on the street,” a spokesperson for Taylor’s family told the news outlet.
Despite having nearly killed Sgt. Mattingly during a shootout that left Taylor dead, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens released Walker to home incarceration on Thursday, according to River City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Ryan Nichols.
“The Fraternal Order of Police condemns this Judge’s actions,” Nichols wrote in a statement on Friday. “This man violently attacked our officers, and was charged with attempted murder after shooting a sergeant!”
“Not only is he a threat to the men and women of law enforcement, but he also poses a significant danger to the community we protect,” Nichols said. “Home incarceration was not designed for the most violent offenders!”
The FOP president said that Stevens’ actions “are a slap in the face to everyone wearing a badge,” and that Walker’s release “places our community at risk of further violence.”
He called on the public to “condemn” Stevens’ decision to release Walker, and urged them to support LMPD and to protect their community.
It wasn’t the first time that the judge has been called out for actions he has taken while on the bench.
In 2015, he allegedly accused a couple of instilling racism in their daughter after the girl’s mother told the court that the child had been fearful of black men ever since two armed suspects broke into the family’s home, the Courier Journal reported.
The following year, Stevens was suspended from the bench without pay for 90 days for accusing Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine of being a racist, according to WDRB.
The judge made the allegation after Wine challenged him for dismissing an all-white jury.
It also isn’t the first time Stevens has released a suspect accused of shooting someone, WAVE reported.
Jeremiah Carter was 14 years old when he shot and wounded two spectators at a parade in 2016.
Stevens released him to home incarceration, but Carter was back in custody a year later for fatally shooting an unarmed, 37-year-old man, WAVE reported.
The judge said he was shocked that Carter ended up killing someone after he granted him home incarceration.
But instead of holding Carter responsible for the murder, Stevens went against the prosecutor’s recommendation for a prison sentence and placed him on probation for 25 years, WAVE reported.
Stevens referred to the sentence as a “do-over” for Carter – then 18 – and for himself, according to the news outlet.
“I’m trusting that you mean what you say,” Stevens said during the hearing.