TWO cops were shot in Louisville as violence erupted last night after the decision to not directly charge officers over the death of Breonna Taylor.
The news sparked anger and mass unrest across the city with reports that 127 people were arrested, including one man suspected of shooting the officers.
Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Chief Rob Schroeder confirmed that two officers had been shot.
A suspect, identified by local station WLKY as Larynzo Johnson, has been arrested in the shooting.
He’s been charged with wanton endangerment and assault of a police officer.
The injured officers were identified Thursday as Maj Aubrey Gregory and Robinson Desroches.
Gregory was shot in the leg and released from the hospital, while Desroches was shot in the abdomen and had to undergo surgery.
Both are stable and expected to recover.
Schroeder said he is “very concerned about the safety of our officers.”
“We have had two officers shot tonight and it’s very serious. It’s a dangerous condition.
“I think the safety of the officers and community we serve is utmost importance.”
Taking to twitter, President Trump said that he had spoken with Kentucky’s Democrat governor, Andy Beshear, who requested that the National Guard be sent in.
“Praying for the two police officers that were shot tonight in Louisville, Kentucky,” Trump wrote.
“The Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help. Spoke to Andy Beshear and we are prepared to work together, immediately upon request!”
Following the shootings of the two officers, Beshear called on protesters to go home.
“There will be many times over the coming days where there will be an opportunity to be heard, and so many people are listening right now,” he said.
In harrowing footage from the city, a succession of shots can be heard ringing out near a line of police officers.
“We got an officer down,” one says.
“Get to cover!” another shouts.
In other footage captured by a protester after the same incident, one person is heard saying: “Oh they shot guns at them! Real guns!
“S**t. They’re blasting at the police. They shot at the police. They didn’t shoot in the air. They shot at them.”
Sirens can then be heard as other protesters run from the area.
LMPD spokesperson Lamont Washington confirmed an officer had been shot in the city just before 8:30pm on Wednesday.
Officials later confirmed that a second officer had been shot.
Footage also showed a molotov cocktail being thrown into the middle of a road in front of a line of police officers.
“Violence against law enforcement is NEVER acceptable in a civil society,” Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf tweeted.
“Praying for the well being of the injured LMPD officers.”
Personnel from the Louisville branch of the FBI were also reportedly deployed to the area to assist with the investigation.
The start of the evening saw protesters gather in Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park, many visibly upset, following the announcement that no officers would face charges over Breonna Taylor’s death.
“We don’t get no murder charges?” said one.
Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American woman, was fatally shot as officers from Louisville police executed a search warrant on her home in March this year.
The officers, backed by an independent witness, say they knocked and identified themselves before forcing entry.
After the officers entered the house, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a gun, later saying he thought they were intruders.
Taylor was shot five times in the subsequent exchange and later died.
Taylor’s home had been targeted in the raid because of a known association with a suspected drug dealer who ran a drug house ten miles away.
Officers Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove were not charged in Taylor’s death, and no homicide or manslaughter charges were brought forward.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the officers had acted to “protect themselves” while executing the warrant.