Louisville, KY – Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) officials have identified the officers who were shot during the riots in Louisville on Wednesday night.
At least one man opened fire on officers at about 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 23 near Broadway and Brook Street, the Courier-Journal reported.
LMPD Interim Chief Robert Schroeder said Thursday morning that both officers had survived their gunshot wounds and were recovering.
Chief Schroeder said LMPD Major Aubrey Gregory was shot in the hip and LMPD Officer Robinson Desroches was shot in the abdomen, the Courier-Journal reported.
Maj. Gregory is the special operations commander for LMPD and supervises the SWAT team, the bomb squad, and the civil defense unit that handles crowd control for the city.
He is a 21-year veteran of the Louisville police force and recently testified before the Louisville Metro Council about his actions during a riot on May 28, the Courier-Journal reported.
Maj. Gregory said he had determined they needed to use tear gas to disperse protesters and get to shooting victims in the mayhem that violent night.
He was released from the hospital on Thursday.
Officer Desroches joined LMPD in 2019 and is assigned to the Second Division, the Courier-Journal reported.
Just a few years earlier he was a defensive end for the Kentucky Wesleyan University football squad.
The chief said that Officer Desroches remained in the hospital in “stable” condition.
“Last night’s situation could have been so much worse for our officers and for the people who were protesting when the gunfire rang out,” Chief Schroeder told reporters on Thursday. “… We are extremely fortunate these two officers will recover.”
Police arrested 26-year-old Larynzo Johnson near the scene of the shooting only minutes after it occurred, the Courier-Journal reported.
Chief Schroeder said that Johnson was facing 14 counts of first-degree wanton endangerment against police officers and two counts of first-degree assault of a police officer.
Court documents said witnesses had identified Johnson as the gunman who opened fire during the protests and then fled the scene, WDRB reported.
The criminal complaint said that shell casings from the gun recovered from Johnson matched the bullets that wounded Maj. Gregory and Officer Desroches.
Chief Schroeder said three more officers were hurt during the riots on Wednesday night, WDRB reported.
He said one sergeant was hit by a protester’s baton, one officer was hit by bodily fluids, and a third officer suffered a knee injury.
“It’s been a very emotional time for our officers in our city… for all of us it is a very tense and emotional time,” the acting police chief said. “Of course they are concerned for the well-being of the city, our other officers, and of course, themselves.”
Protests began in Louisville just moments after it was announced that a Jefferson County grand jury had indicted only one of the three LMPD officers who were involved in the botched raid at Breonna Taylor’s home in March.
The grand jury indicted former LMPD Officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots into a neighboring apartment occupied by three people, one of who was a pregnant woman and another was her child, but none of the Louisville police officers were indicted for firing shots after Taylor’s boyfriend opened fire on them.
Video showed that even as Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that the special prosecutor’s investigation of the incident had determined that LMPD Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and LMPD Officer Myles Cosgrove were “justified in their use of force after being fired on by Walker,” protesters were preparing to wreak havoc in the streets of Louisville.