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Grand jury indicts officer on wanton endangerment charges in Breonna Taylor's death

The announcement comes more than six months after Taylor was killed inside her apartment. Watch live coverage here.
Credit: WHAS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A grand jury in Kentucky indicted a single officer, Det. Brett Hankison, with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment in the case involving the fatal shooting of the 26-year-old EMT and aspiring nurse Breonna Taylor. 

The decision comes six months after police officers fatally shot Taylor, whose killing helped spark protests across the country. 

If found guilty, Hankison could face up to five years for each of the three counts of wanton endangerment.

A $15,000 full cash bond was also issued against Hankison, who has since been fired from the Louisville Police Dept. (LPD).

Attorney General Daniel Cameron's office said it did not investigate Kenneth Walker or Breonna Taylor, claims of civil negligence by the officers or the narcotics case against Jamarcus Glove or the search warrant obtained for Taylor's apartment.

Wednesday's news on charges against Louisville police officers involved in the deadly shooting has been long awaited by many in the city and around the country. 

Taylor was shot and killed in her home on March 13 when Louisville Metro police officers served a no-knock warrant related to a narcotics investigation.

The three officers identified in Taylor’s death are Hankison, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove. All were placed on administrative reassignment following the shooting. Hankison has since been fired for his actions the night of Taylor's death. Mattingly and Cosgrove remain on administrative reassignment.

During a news conference Wednesday, AG Cameron said it was found that Sgt. Mattingly and Det. Cosgrove were justified in their use of force to protect themselves.

Cameron said that six bullets struck Taylor. One shot was fatal, he said. The fatal shot was fired by Det. Cosgrove, Cameron said.

Hankison fired his weapon 10 times, and no evidence shows his bullets struck Taylor, Cameron said.

RELATED: Here's what Wanton Endangerment means as defined by Kentucky law

On March 12, Judge Mary Shaw signed off on five warrants as part of a narcotics investigation. The warrant for Taylor’s apartment was one of them.

Around 12:30 a.m. on March 13, officers served the warrant at Taylor’s home. As the officers entered the apartment, Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, fired at them, striking Mattingly in the leg. 

While Mattingly said officers did announce themselves, Walker said he did not know it was police. Walker’s attorneys said he believed someone was breaking in and fired in self-defense.

Officers returned fire, striking Taylor. She was later found in the apartment unresponsive and died. No drugs or cash was found in Taylor's apartment, attorneys said.

Walker was arrested and charged with attempted murder of a police officer. The charges against him were later dismissed.

Taylor’s family filed a lawsuit against the officers involved in the shooting on April 27. On Sept. 15, the City of Louisville announced a $12 million settlement with Taylor's family -- the largest sum paid by the city for a police misconduct case.

Meanwhile, officials in Louisville have been preparing for more protests and possible unrest as the public nervously awaited a decision on charges in the shooting. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. curfew on Wednesday and urged people to protest peacefully. 

A group of protesters have since taken to the streets in downtown Louisville following the grand jury's announcement.

RELATED: 'We feel caged in': Protesters react to concrete barricades put up in Louisville, Ky.

RELATED: Breonna Taylor case: Louisville police prepare for decision from Attorney General's Office

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