Larynzo D. Johnson has charged with shooting two Louisville police officers amid protests over the Kentucky grand jury decision to not pursue murder charges against officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, and is being held on a $1 million bail.
He is also charged 14 counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer. Johnson’s alleged shooting was captured on multiple livestreams and footage shared to social media on September 23. Louisville police obtained footage purporting to show Johnson firing at police.
The two officers injured in the attack both suffered non-life threatening injuries. One of the bullets struck Major Aubrey Gregory in the hip, while officer Robinson Desroches was shot in the abdomen.
Video footage from Wednesday’s protest revealed the moments immediately after Johnson allegedly shot at officers.
The footage shows a black man in a multi-coloured hoodie waving a handgun in the air, after reaching over the head of another protester and opening fire into the crowd.
An eyewitness to the shooting states that the police deployed a flashbang to disperse the crowd, while another protester approached him from behind and opened fire feet away. “I heard two gunshots right behind me, I turned around, this all happened within a second or two,” the witness, who asked not to be named, told WLKY-TV.
“I saw the shooter wearing a bright tie-dye hoodie. He was shooting directly at the police and fired about 2 or 3 shots while running then fired more shots then ran down the alleyway 44,” he said.
State prosecutors initially requested a $750,000 cash bond, but upped the figure to $1 million. Johnson’s attorney, Zac Meihaus, requested the bail to be as low as $142,000.
Meihaus requested that Johnson be allowed to await trial at home instead of being confined in a jail and argued that Louisville’s status as a de facto “war zone” on the night of the riot meant that it was difficult to blame him for his actions.
“I don't know if we can truly pinpoint that he is the person who fired the shot 'heard around the world' so to speak,” said Meihaus to the court.
Prosecutors challenged his assertion, with claims that they had video evidence and several witnesses who would testify that Johnson was responsible for the shooting.
Johnson’s upcoming court hearing is scheduled for October 5 with a public defender appointed to represent him. One hundred and twenty seven demonstrators were arrested in relation to the protests on Wednesday, with the number reaching 150 as of Saturday night.
The unrest over the grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case continues across cities throughout the United States.