LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Authorities investigated a Saturday night deadly shooting in a park in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, where protesters had gathered to protest the death of Breonna Taylor.
Reports of shots fired at Jefferson Square Park came in around 9 p.m., Louisville police said in a statement, followed by phone calls that the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department was taking life-saving measures against a man who died on the spot. Shortly after, police were notified of a shooting victim across the street in the Hall of Justice. That person was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
Video posted to social media appeared to show a man opening fire in the park as people searched for cover. The footage later showed that at least one person was bleeding profusely on the floor.
Officers have cleared the park and police are “trying to gather as much information as possible to identify all those involved in the incident,” the statement said. No information about arrests, possible suspects and the victims’ identities and ages was released immediately. Officials have not immediately released additional information.
“I am deeply saddened by the violence that broke out at Jefferson Square Park tonight, where those who have expressed concern have been gathered,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer in a statement. “It is a tragedy that this area of peaceful protest is now a crime scene.”
The park has been the epicenter for protests in the city for weeks after the police murders of Taylor and George Floyd. The Saturday night shooting was at least second during nearly a month of protests in Louisville over Taylor’s death. Seven people were injured on May 28 when gunfire erupted near City Hall, prompting a statement from Taylor’s mother asking people to demand justice “without hurting each other.”
“Pray for our city,” tweeted Kentucky state representative Charles Booker from Louisville late Saturday. The Democrat is running for his party’s nomination to challenge Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell in the fall.
Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was murdered at her home in Louisville in March by police who conducted a search warrant. Demonstrators have called for the officers involved in her death to be charged. One of the officers was recently fired.
Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s friend, was originally charged with attempted murder after firing a shot at one of the officers who entered the house. Walker has said he thought he was defending from an intruder.
The search warrant that allows police to enter without first announcing their presence was recently banned by the Louisville Metro Council.
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