Shocking videos have surfaced on social media, displaying the chaos that unfolded on Saturday evening at a park in Louisville, Kentucky, where a man opened fire on protesters who had gathered to express outrage over the death of Breonna Taylor.
Videos of the incident were posted on social media, several uploaded to YouTube, show a man opening fire at the perimeter of the park. He unloaded his rifle into the demonstration area, killing one man. However as the gunman fired his weapon, it appears someone returned fire with a larger caliber weapon.
At the end of the video, one of the shooting victims is seen bleeding on the ground. A man dressed in all black armed with an AR-15 or a similar rifle was seen in the final seconds of the clip. It is unknown who returned fire.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Sunday in a Facebook post, that 27-year-old Tyler Gerth was the victim who died shortly after he was shot, despite “life-saving measures.”
“This is absolutely not what they wanted or any of us wanted. None of us want to see this area of peaceful protest become a crime scene,” Fischer said during a press conference.
According to NPR, the suspect was asked to leave the protest several times after being disruptive by other demonstrators.
Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder told reporters that the suspect had been participating in protests for weeks.
“He had been arrested a couple times over the past several weeks. He had been repeatedly asked by other members in the park to leave due to his disruptive behavior,” Schroeder said.
Authorities also identified the gunman who is in the hospital as Steven Nelson Lopez, the man is being detained for investigation of murder and endangerment, NBC reported.
LMPD said an investigation into the shooting was launched immediately:
“We’re trying to gather as much information as possible to identify all who were involved in the incident.”
Just about 9 p.m., there were reports of shots fired in Jefferson Square Park. Calls then came in that Sheriff’s Department personnel were in the park performing life-saving measures on a male who eventually died at the scene.
— LMPD (@LMPD) June 28, 2020
Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted: “I am deeply saddened by the violence that erupted in Jefferson Square Park tonight, where those who have been voicing their concerns have been gathered… “It is a tragedy that this area of peaceful protest is now a crime scene.”
The park has been the epicenter of demonstrations by protesters in Louisville for weeks after the police murders of Taylor and George Floyd.
“Praying for our city,” tweeted Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker on Saturday night.
The Saturday night shooting wasn’t the first time that demonstrators were injured in the city. Seven people were shot on May 28th near the same area.
Anewspost previously reported just yesterday that a Detroit police officer ran over protesters speeding into the demonstrators. The unknown cop sped up through the crowd when they surrounded his vehicle injuring between 10-12 protesters who were flung across his hood, nearly missing running over a demonstrator who fell down.
Peaceful protests across the country have been marred by occasional violent clashes mostly between police and civilians. However, there have been other cases of protesters attacking each other like in Seattle’s no police zone, CHAZ.