Suspect Charged With Killing Louisville Demonstrator

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The suspect in the shooting death of a man in 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, reports the Associated Press. Steven Nelson Lopez was hospitalized and being interviewed by homicide investigators about the shooting on Saturday, said Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder. Lopez was wounded in the leg by gunfire from bystanders at the park who were defending themselves. 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. The Courier Journal reported that Gerth was an avid photographer and a vocal supporter of the ongoing protests whose godfather is a columnist at the newspaper.

One video showed that Lopez was surrounded by several people before shots were fired, and people scrambled for cover. Another video posted on social media 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. For nearly a month, protesters have been calling for the officers involved in Breonna 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  fired. Saturday’s shooting was at least the second during the protests. Seven people were wounded May 28 when gunfire erupted near City Hall, prompting Taylor’s mother to issue a statement asking people to demand justice “without hurting each other.”

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