Suspect who shot Louisville cops at protest charged with assault, wanton endangerment

Larynzo Johnson allegedly fired “multiple bullets” at Louisville police officers amid protests for Breonna Taylor

By Rick Childress
Lexington Herald-Leader

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Larynzo Johnson was arrested Wednesday night in Louisville in connection to the shooting of two police officers, the city’s police chief said.

Johnson allegedly fired “multiple bullets” at Louisville Metro Police Department officers as they were working to control a protest crowd, according to a portion of an arrest citation shared on Twitter by national CBS correspondent Adriana Diaz. He allegedly fired after members of the police department addressed the crowd, according to the document.

Police officers stand in front of an armored vehicle on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images/TNS)
Police officers stand in front of an armored vehicle on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images/TNS)

Online court documents show that Johnson was charged with two counts of first-degree assault and 14 counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The 26-year-old Johnson was scheduled to be arraigned in Jefferson County District Court on Thursday morning.

It’s unclear whether Johnson was a protester. When asked if Johnson was associated with the protest crowd, LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder said Thursday morning that the investigation was ongoing and releasing that sort of information would be premature.

Maj. Aubrey Gregory was shot in the hip and was released from the hospital Thursday morning, Schroeder said. Gregory has been the “bedrock” of the department’s efforts to manage protests since June, the chief added.

Officer Robinson Desroches was shot in the lower abdomen and after going through “multiple surgeries” last night, Desroches is expected to fully recover, said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

The officers were called around 8:30 p.m. to the area of Brook Street for a report of a large crowd and shots being fired, Schroeder said. When the officers arrived at First Street and Broadway, shots “rang out” and the two officers were hit.

According to the citation written by officers, witnesses saw Johnson firing a handgun at the scene and running. When asked if the witnesses were civilians or police, Schroeder said it was too early to give out that information. Police have recovered video of the shooting and a handgun was found on Johnson when he was arrested, the citation stated.

Johnson was arrested at 8:40 p.m. A firearms examiner with the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network examiner is working to determine any possible link between the recovered handgun and shell casings found at the scene, the Courier-Journal reported.

Mayor Fischer called the shooting “completely unacceptable” and asked that expected future demonstrations be without violence.

Including Johnson, police made 127 arrests on Wednesday and early Thursday, Schroeder said. Louisville’s 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. curfew remains in effect at least through Saturday. Schroeder said the department expects protest activities through this weekend and for some time in the future.

The protests following a Jefferson County grand jury’s decision to only indict one of the three officers involved in the shooting death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in March. Brett Hankison, the officer who was indicted, faces three charges of wanton endangerment over bullets fired into a neighboring apartment occupied by three people. None of the charges filed had to do with Taylor’s death.

Protests occurred in Louisville, Lexington and across the country.

©2020 Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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