The only former Louisville police officer criminally charged in connection to the killing of Breonna Taylor cried in court on Wednesday (March 2) while defending his actions nearly two years ago.
Brett Hankison tearfully testified that when he and a team of other officers raided Taylor's apartment to execute a search warrant, he thought he saw a shadowy figure with a rifle shoot Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly. Hankison told the court that he heard multiple gun shots and saw muzzle flashes and believed his former colleagues were under attack.
Hankison said he blindly opened fire into Taylor's apartment, believing that he was defending himself and other officers.
"I knew they were trying to get him, and it appeared to me they were being executed with his rifle," Hankison said in court. "I returned fire through the sliding glass door, and that did not stop the threat."
Under cross-examination, Hankison clarified that he shot five times through the sliding glass doors and five additional times through the bedroom window. He said he didn't know there was an apartment directly behind Taylor's.
Hankison is being charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for the shots he fired that could have hit Taylor's neighbors. None of the officers involved have been directly charged for her death.
After calling 26 witnesses to the stand, prosecutors rested their case on Tuesday (March 1). Defense lawyers rested their case after Hankison's testimony.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Thursday (March 3) followed by jury deliberations.
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