Horrifying video shows a gunman firing a volley of shots at a Kentucky protest for hometown woman Breonna Taylor — leaving one man dead and another seriously injured, according to authorities.
The gunman in black shorts and carrying a black backpack is seen raising a weapon in the video and opening fire — with almost two dozen shots heard ringing out in less than a minute.
People were then seen cowering for cover, with the man filming the horror gasping “oh my God!” as he came across someone laying in a pool of blood in Jefferson Square Park following the 9 p.m. shooting.
Louisville Metro Police later confirmed one man had died and another was seriously injured.
It was not clear what weapon was used, nor if some of the shots were return-fire from those within the Louisville camp protesting the March police shooting death of 26-year-old EMT Taylor.
Many protesters had arrived heavily armed Saturday after warnings from an “armed patriot militia” that it would confront the anti-police protests, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
About 30 members of the so-called “American Freedom Fighters” group turned up in the city for a few hours, but never came near the protesters camped out in the downtown park, the paper said.
Hours earlier, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer had called for counter-protesters to stay away. “We don’t need you here. Our focus is on facilitating peaceful protests,” he had tweeted a few hours before the shooting.
Police cordon off the area after a fatal shooting at Jefferson Square Park, in Louisville, Kentucky. A police officer, wearing a tactical vest, gestures for people to step back after a fatal shooting at Jefferson Square Park, in Louisville, Kentucky.
People take cover during a fatal shooting at Jefferson Square Park, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Early Sunday, Louisville police also announced it was shutting down the camp that had become a center-point for protests over Taylor’s death.
“While most protesters in the park have been largely peaceful, things changed last night when shots rang out in the park, leaving one dead and one other shot,” the force announced on Twitter.
“We are now clearing the park and it will stay cleared. Peaceful gatherings can continue during the day, but we will not allow people to stay overnight,” the force said.
“We continue to support the peaceful exercise of free speech. However, our primary focus must be on public safety,” the statement stressed.
The force said it was still “trying to gather as much information as possible in order to identify all who were involved in the incident.”
No information about arrests, possible suspects and the victims’ identities and ages was immediately released. Louisville Metro Corrections’ booking log Sunday morning did not appear to show anyone in custody with charges related to a shooting, the Courier-Journal said.
“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,” Mayor Fischer said. “It is a tragedy that this area of peaceful protest is now a crime scene.”
The Saturday night shooting was at least the second during nearly a month of protests in Louisville over Taylor’s death. Seven people were wounded May 28 when gunfire erupted near City Hall, prompting a statement from Taylor’s mother asking people to demand justice “without hurting each other.”
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