Louisville shooting: At least one person shot in Jefferson Square Park where Black Lives Matter protests held

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Louisville shooting: At least one person shot in Jefferson Square Park where Black Lives Matter protests held

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Officer Brett Hankison was one of three officers that fired a weapon into Breonna Taylor’s apartment.

USA TODAY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two people were shot and one person was killed in downtown Louisville Saturday evening, according to police.

According to police, around 9 p.m., shots were fired in Jefferson Square Park. Personnel from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department performed live-saving measures on a male victim who eventually died.

Shortly thereafter, police received reports of another person shot at the Hall of Justice. That person was taken to University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“Officers cleared the park completely and have secured the entire area so homicide detectives can conduct their investigation,” LMPD spokesman Lamont Washington wrote Saturday evening at 11:27 p.m. “Detectives are trying to gather as much information as possible in order to identify all who were involved in the incident.”

Washington added that the park will remain closed for the next several hours, and that police will provide additional information in the morning as it becomes available.

WATCH LIVE:Police remain at scene of shooting at Jefferson Square Park

The park has been the scene of protests over the police shooting of Breonna Taylor for weeks, and people have raised tents there and have been staying overnight.

A video on Facebook of the scene shows a man firing a gun. People screamed for a medic, and at least one person was down on the ground.

I’m downtown at the corner of 5th and Jefferson where there were reports of shots fired about 30 minutes ago with “multiple victims” but no immediate information. Lots of LMPD on scene. This is the epicenter of Louisville’s daily Black Lives Matter protesta. @courierjournalpic.twitter.com/tK2KGehWgK

— Savannah Eadens (@SavannahEadens) June 28, 2020

Anna, who came to the park Saturday evening to meet with other protesters to march in downtown Louisville, said she wasn’t sure where the shots came from, as she had heard fireworks at the protests before.

Almost immediately, everyone started running, and Anna did, too. She and a friend ran to a nearby Chase Bank and banged on the doors to let them in, “because we were freaked out.” When she returned to Jefferson Square Park about 30 minutes later, Anna said there were 30 to 40 officers outside.

Julie Sullivan, an activist with Kentucky Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression who was at Jefferson Square Park during the shooting, said she started yelling at everyone to “get down” when she heard the gun shots.

Sullivan said she tried to help a women find her kids shortly after hearing the gun shots. She added that police eventually blocked off the camp at Jefferson Square Park.

“The cops had it blocked off, and they were telling us to get out,” Sullivan said. “And everybody started to walk, and I was like, ‘Take whatever you need.’ Because these people are living here. Their cell phones or whatever might be in the camp.”

At the corner of Jefferson and Fifth streets, there were more than a dozen police cruisers around 9:45 p.m., with tape blocking off Jefferson Square Park. No person is being allowed inside the park, according to a Courier Journal reporter at the scene, with police interviewing people inside the park.

Shortly before 10 p.m., a group of LMPD officers arrived in Jefferson Square Park in riot gear. Several people confronted the officers.

The Transit Authority of River City, or TARC, announced at 10:04 p.m. that all stops between Broadway & River Road, and between First & Ninth streets in the downtown Louisville area, are closed for the remainder of Saturday.

Around 10:15 p.m., Louisville Metro Police were pushing a group to a sidewalk across from Jefferson Square Park, declaring an unlawful assembly and threatening to use force. Uniformed police are guarding tents at Jefferson Square Park and are facing Metro Hall.

At 10:30 p.m., a group of protesters held a moment of silence for those who were shot. Chants of “say her name, Breonna Taylor” broke out afterwards.

By 11:15 p.m., there was still a large police presence at Jefferson Square Park. Things were mostly quiet, as there was little confrontation between police and protesters, and chants had stopped.

Democratic Kentucky Senate candidate Charles Booker wrote in a tweet Saturday night “praying for our city” in response to the shooting.

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