Police released the suspect’s name. Jail records show that he is 26 years old. On social media, Johnson, who goes by the nickname Spankey, posted about police and videogames. His most recent visible post is about trying to find a liquor store. He occasionally posted about Breonna Taylor.
According to WLKY, he is accused of “14 counts of wanton endangerment on police officer and two counts of assault on police officer.”
The Courier Journal reported that Johnson’s arrest citation accuses him of having shown “an extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
NEW: Here are the two @LMPD officers who were shot last night.
On the left – Mjr. Aubrey Gregory, a 21-year vet who Chief Robert Schroeder called the "bedrock" of LMPD's protest response.
On the right – Robinson Desroches, who's been on the force since 2019. pic.twitter.com/9gkMpFnXyA
— Nicholas Picht (@N_Picht) September 24, 2020
Here’s what you need to know:
The Officers Were Shot After Responding to a Report of a Large Crowd Where Gunfire Had Already Erupted
In a press conference, Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said that the officers had responded to a report of a large crowd where shots were fired at about 8:30 p.m. on September 23.
When they got there, shots again rang out, and “two of our officers were shot,” the chief said. One officer is alert and stable; the second officer was undergoing surgery and is stable, the chief said. One suspect is in custody, the chief revealed the night of the shooting.
“Obviously we have two officers shot tonight,” the chief added. “The safety of our officers and the community we serve is of utmost importance.” The chief said the officers suffered non-life-threatening wounds.
The officers were shot near Brook and Broadway in downtown Louisville. They have been named as Aubrey Gregory and Robinson Desroches.
The Courier Journal reported that Johnson was in the crowd of protesters, which had set fires and wouldn’t disperse despite warnings. He is accused of having “intentionally used a handgun to fire multiple bullets at officers. Two officers with LMPD were struck by the bullets causing serious physical injury,” the newspaper reported, adding that he had the gun when detained and witnesses identified him as the gunman when he fled. The newspaper added that police say he was captured on video while shooting and has no prior criminal history for violent offenses.
Johnson Posted Periodically About Police Issues & Breonna Taylor on Social Media
A lot of Johnson’s Facebook page just contains bantering with friends and comments about liquor stores and Call of Duty. He did post several posts about police.
In June, he held a Facebook watch party for a video about Breonna Taylor’s birthday. He also shared the below video titled, “Skate Outta Quarantine: Louisville, KY ~ For Breonna Taylor.”
His profile picture shows a man wearing a skull mask. He recently shared a news story headlined, “Tulsa Police Video Shows White Driver Resist Cops, Shoot Them Both, Kill 1 And Live To Tell About It.”
He shared a video with a caption by someone else that read, “A white #FtLauderdale cop tries to get violent with peaceful protestors and this black woman/police officer wasn’t having it. 👀💯”
In September, he wrote, “Gang E’M on the video game# I’M bored ass f***…# Who house can i come over i’ll sit in watch u play the game #COD# mad asf frfr. Posting this BS.”
He also posted a throwback photo of Muhammad Ali and a variety of music videos. He wrote about video games, saying, “COD @Warzone is that New only PS4 comment below…”
Dramatic Video Captured Portions of the Scene
A variety of dramatic videos emerged from the scene.
“We’ve got one down,” a person says in the above video after the shootings occurred.
“WARNING: This video may be disturbing. @khyati_tv caught the moment leading up to the officer being shot in downtown Louisville. You hear it, but do not see it. Team of officers rush to ambulance,” wrote journalist Amber Smith.
WARNING: This video may be disturbing. @khyati_tv caught the moment leading up to the officer being shot in downtown Louisville. You hear it, but do not see it. Team of officers rush to ambulance. pic.twitter.com/PuotJunuEV
— Amber Smith (@ambersmithtv) September 24, 2020
The Louisville police were also livestreaming from the scene; “shots fired,” an officer says in their video.
Shots fired at police in Louisville. pic.twitter.com/YWUSuoV6u3
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 24, 2020
One video showed people running down the street as gunfire erupted.
BREAKING VIDEO – Louisville Rioters shoot live rounds at police, injuring at least 1 so far pic.twitter.com/b9ju1jFzaS
— FJ News Reporter (@FJNewsReporter) September 24, 2020
“S*** they’re shooting real guns,” someone shouts in the video. “They’re blasting at the police.”
Max Gersh, a photographer working for the Courier Journal, told the newspaper that he saw “a line of officers move toward a gas station with rifles up. Shortly after, they had somebody pinned to the ground and cuffed.”
An unlawful assembly was declared around 8 p.m., according to NPR.
The police were livestreaming from the scene. They ran the video on their Facebook page.
— Boston Stringer Media (@StringerBoston) September 24, 2020
The violence erupted after authorities announced that the officers who shot Taylor will not be criminally charged because her boyfriend opened fire on them first. One officer was criminally charged with wanton endangerment, but the charge involved bullets that entered nearby apartments. The officer was not charged in Taylor’s death, and there is no conclusive evidence that Taylor was struck by any of former Officer Brett Hankison’s bullets, Attorney General Daniel Cameron said on September 23. He added that the FBI found the fatal bullet came from Cosgrove’s gun, but the investigation concluded Cosgrove was justified in his use of force.
“The FBI Louisville SWAT team has responded to an LMPD officer being shot and will continue to assist in the investigation,” the FBI’s Louisville office wrote on Twitter.