Officials with the Louisville Metro Police Department have identified the man in custody who they say shot and wounded two police officers Wednesday night (Sep. 23) amid protests in the city.
Larynzo Johnson, 26, was arrested at 8:40 p.m., according to his citation, which stated he would face multiple charges of first-degree assault of a police officer and first-degree wanton endangerment.
LMPD interim Chief Ronert Schroeder said Thursday that the suspect will be charged with two counts of assault and 14 counts of wanton endangerment, “all directed against police officers.”
Johnson is accused of shooting two LMPD officers around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night, as protests continued across the city in the aftermath of the announcement that just one of the three officers who fired their weapons the night Breonna Taylor was killed would face charges.
Johnson’s arrest citation, provided by the office of the Jefferson County Circuit Court clerk, said the suspect’s actions “showed an extreme indifference to the value of human life” and put officers at the scene in danger of death or serious injury.
The citation said LMPD officers were responding to a large crowd at Broadway and Brook Street in downtown Louisville that had set fires and would not disperse after being warned.
Johnson was among the crowd and “intentionally used a handgun to fire multiple bullets at officers. Two officers with LMPD were struck by the bullets causing serious physical injury.”
Witnesses identified him as firing the gun and then running from the scene, the citation states, and he was in possession of a handgun when he was detained.
Footage reviewed by LMPD officers, according to the citation, showed him firing the weapon, and a National Integrated Ballistic Information Network examiner was looking into an association between the firearm recovered and shell casings recovered from the scene.
“There is a high probability that a microscopic comparison, by a firearms examiner, will confirm the association between the firearm’s ballistic evidence,” the citation from the arresting officer states.
Johnson’s record shows no previous arrests for violent crimes or felony convictions. His address on the arrest citation listed no home address but “CAL,” meaning city at large.
One Facebook Live video taken at the time of the shooting by someone in the crowd appears to show a man in a multicolored hooded sweatshirt firing a handgun at a group of officers. A man was taken into custody wearing a shirt that appeared to match that description.
The two officers injured in Wednesday night’s shooting were identified Thursday morning as Maj. Aubrey Gregory and Robinson Desroches, an officer with LMPD’s Second Division who has been with the department since March 2019.
Gregory was hit in the hip and was released from the hospital overnight, LMPD interim Chief Robert Schroeder said, while Desroches underwent surgery after being hit in the abdomen. He is also expected to make a full recovery, Schroeder said.
“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,” Schroeder said. “… We are extremely fortunate these two officers will recover.”
The night before, Schroeder described the tense situation as “very serious” as he spoke with reporters in a press briefing that was broken up after just minutes.
“I am very concerned about the safety of our officers,” Schroeder said. “Obviously we’ve had two officers shot tonight, and that is very serious. … I think the safety of our officers and the community we serve is of the utmost importance.”
And to think … all of this could have been avoided had they arrested the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.