LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/Gray News) – An employee of a veterinary clinic in Kentucky was shot and killed by a pet owner during an argument, police said.
Veterinary technician Trent “TJ” Taylor, 21, was killed Sunday in a shooting at Shively Animal Clinic just south of Louisville.
According to Shively police, the investigation is still ongoing, and officers are still interviewing dozens of witnesses.
Police said it could be a case of self-defense, and the woman who shot Taylor has not been charged as of Thursday.
But Taylor’s family – who witnessed the shooting – tells a very different story.
Taylor’s mother Jennifer Taylor is also an employee of Shively Animal Clinic. She said the woman arrived at the clinic with her wife and a third woman, “hostile, screaming, yelling, cussing, just wanting her dog.”
Employees called police to report the verbal altercation, but Jennifer Taylor said it quickly turned physical.
Jennifer Taylor said of the three women involved, only one became physically violent, but she witnessed that woman grab hold of a 60-year-old employee and “slam her into a corner.”
That’s when Jennifer Taylor said her son stepped in, “bopped” the woman on her head, and then ran out the door.
Then, Jennifer Taylor said, the woman asked one of the other women to hand over her purse – which had a gun inside.
The woman reportedly then pulled out her gun and shot Trent “TJ” Taylor in the chest. He was taken to the hospital, where he died.
“This is senseless,” his father, Trent Taylor Sr., said. “You shot my son over a dog?”
Jennifer Taylor is grieving, knowing she witnessed her son die on Mother’s Day.
The Taylors are looking for justice for their son.
“I don’t have any closure from this situation,” Trent Taylor Sr. said. “My life is never going to be the same.”
Police have not released the identity of the shooter. However, they say social media posts have inaccurately identified someone as the shooter, and they are asking the public to stop spreading false information.
Other veterinary clinics from across the country are grieving Trent “TJ” Taylor’s death, saying disgruntled clients are far too common in the profession.
“The veterinary profession is in pain. Although we sincerely want what is best for your pets, and will make every effort, there are some things that we simply cannot do,” Hyde Park Veterinary Clinic of Cincinnati wrote in a Facebook post. “Being kind costs nothing, but being insensitive and cruel claims lives.”
Another client who has been going to Shively Animal Clinic for 15 years started a GoFundMe page to raise funeral funds for the family.
“One thing about TJ is he was always smiling. That kid could light up a room in seconds!” the GoFundMe page reads. “… He sat and cared for homeless animals. He was loved by every client and employee.”
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