Arrested in slaying at protest in Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The suspect arrested in the shooting death of a man during a Louisville protest over the police killing of Breonna Taylor had taken part in demonstrations but was disruptive and had been asked by other protesters to leave, authorities and protesters said Sunday.
The man, identified by an arrest citation as Steven Nelson Lopez, was hospitalized and was being interviewed by homicide investigators about the shooting that happened late Saturday, Interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said at a news conference.
Lopez was wounded in the leg by gunfire from bystanders at the park who were defending themselves, the citation said. He has been charged with murder and wanton endangerment.
Tyler Charles Gerth, 27, of Louisville, died after being shot at Jefferson Square Park in downtown Louisville, authorities said.
In a video of the shooting shown during the news conference, Lopez was surrounded by several people before shots were fired, and people scrambled for cover. Another video posted on social media later showed at least one person bleeding profusely on the ground.
Several other people fired gunshots after the suspect began firing, but no one else was hit, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.
“Whether they were there at the time of the shooting or not, I know the sadness of those who have been organizing and participating in peaceful protests for racial justice. This is absolutely not what they wanted or any of us wanted,” Fischer said.
For nearly a month, protesters have been calling for the officers involved in Taylor’s death to be charged. Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was killed in her Louisville home in March by police who were serving a no-knock warrant.
One of the officers was recently fired.