Police recordings released from Smoketown hostage shootings


by Chelsea Rabideau


Posted on September 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 27 at 12:01 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – For the first time, we’re hearing from a woman held hostage in a Louisville apartment and shot in a SWAT standoff.

Hours of taped interviews and 911 recordings have been released in the case against Ricardo Taylor. Police say he held three people hostage and eventually killed two inside an apartment on S. Jackson Street in August.

Louisville police say on the night of Aug. 2, Taylor, 24, shot and killed Tela Harvey, 25, and Osman Omor, 16, and injured Cheryl Bagwell. In a recorded interview with police, Bagwell told the officer that her friend Tina Norman called her that evening saying she was kicking her boyfriend Ricky out because he had “put his hands on her.”

Bagwell went over to Tina’s apartment. But, she was gone when Bagwell and her friend Tela Harvey got there. Norman called too late to tell them to get out because Taylor was on his way.

“By the time I opened the door, Little Ricky was right there, like standing right there,” Bagwell told police.

Bagwell says Taylor held them hostage with a gun, demanding they find Tina. But, how was the 16-year-old boy involved? Bagwell said he just happened to be walking down the street at the wrong time when Taylor called him over to the apartment and demanded his phone. Then, police showed up and the hostage situation turned deadly.

“He seen ya’ll pull up, shot the African boy twice, I don’t know where the first one hit, but it had to be down here somewhere because he kind of bent down and then he shot him in the head,” said Bagwell, “And then, he shot my friend Tela in the head and he shot me once and I didn’t know he didn’t have no more bullets. So he held me hostage in there for so long with an empty [expletive] gun.”

During his police interview, Ricardo Taylor told a different version of events.  This is a transcript of Taylor’s conversation with an LMPD Detective when he asked how Cheryl Bagwell was shot:

Detective: “How'd she get injured?”
Taylor: “She...she's the one who answered the door.”
Detective: “What's that?”
Taylor: “She's the one who answered the door.”
Detective: “She's the one that answered the door for the dude and the chick? And so, when dude and the chick rushed in and you didn't know who they were, you started shooting and Cheryl accidentally got shot?”
Taylor: “Yes” (nodding)

Police say Taylor was holed up in the apartment for hours, only coming out when they stormed the apartment with tear gas. Even then, Bagwell says he used her to keep the standoff going. She said he threw the gun in a bathtub full of water, jumped in and pulled her on top of him in case police came in shooting.

Taylor is facing two charges of murder, assault, kidnapping, and possession of cocaine.