LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Taylor is one of the many protesters in downtown Louisville. He says he's been there practically since the movement began.
Taylor, who didn't want us to share his last name, joined the protests because he wants to see more accountability among law enforcement. But Wednesday night wasn't like other nights in the city. After a relatively quiet night, two Louisville Metro Police officers were shot. Maj. Aubrey Gregory and officer Robinson Desroches have Taylor to thank for the apprehension of the man believed responsible for shooting them.
Taylor says he was marching with a large group of protesters down Brook St. to Broadway when they encountered LMPD who were blocking the street. Taylor says his group wasn't very organized and there was some confusion among those in the group. They came together to try to figure out where they would march next and as the group got larger, LMPD took steps to break up the crowd. Taylor says officers used something to make a loud boom, perhaps a flashbang. He says he started down an alleyway when he heard two shots fired. He turned around and saw the shooter running towards him still firing shots towards police officers.
"I turned around and I see the suspect shoot at police, he wasn't shooting in the air, he was shooting directly at the police, fired a couple more rounds off and was running towards me."
Taylor says the shooter continued to run with him in the alley all the while firing shots.
It was during this that Gregory and Desroches were hit; Gregory in his hip and Desroches in his stomach.
Taylor says he knew better than try to tackle or stop the man because he had a weapon and was with other people. So instead, Taylor kept an eye on him. Taylor says the shooter tried to blend in with the crowd and was nonchalantly hanging at a lamppost at the Thornton's at First and Broadway.
Taylor says he approached officers to tell them what happened. He said some didn't want to listen to a protester at first, but he found an officer who did and he told him what he saw.
26-year-old Larynzo Johnson was arrested and charged with 14 counts of wanton endangerment to a police officer and two counts of first-degree assault on a police officer. He is being held on $1 million bond and is due to appear in court on Oct. 5
Desroches had surgery and is recovering. Gregory was discharged Wednesday night. Both men will fully recover.
Taylor says violence like this is a distraction from the message peaceful protesters are trying to send.
"No one on either side likes violence." He says he hopes the protests remain peaceful going forward. He aded, "I do plan to continue to protest. These bad actions from a few people are not gonna deter me away from the much needed change we need in LMPD."