Joint operation involving feds, LMPD yields 57 arrests, gun seizures

The backstory of the operation starts at corner, like 28th street, where a woman had multiple family members shot and killed.
Updated: Aug. 9, 2019 at 5:52 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Some of the most powerful law enforcement agencies announced a sweep that took 57 people and 13 firearms off the streets. Federal investigators and LMPD completed raids targeting violent crime in Louisville.

U.S. Marshals and federal agents helped LMPD with what they called “Operation Iron Grip.”

LMPD said there have been 151 criminal shootings so far this year, 64 of which have been homicides.

“I feel sad and sick inside and I cry for every single mother because I know that pain,” said Georgina Corcoran. “Twenty-six years ago they murdered my son coming home from work. Every day I cry for him.”

“It changed my walk, it changed my walk,” said Lukisha Thomas, whose daughter, Tyyatta Thomas, was shot and killed in June.

Corcoran, also known as Miss Dixie, and Thomas are just two mothers who feel the effects of gun violence in Louisville every day.

“It’s frustrating; it’s depleting,” Corcoran said. “It almost depletes you to nothing.”

Corcoran has a memorial for her five family members who were shot and killed blocks away from her home. The numbers and agony kept growing in 2019, prompting authorities to launch round two of “Operation Iron Grip.”

“If you plan to carry a gun as a convicted felon in this city,” said U.S Attorney Russel Coleman. “If you have a domestic violence order against you in this city, if you are a juvenile or adult and plan to use a firearm to commit a violent act, we’re coming for you.”

In two weeks, authorities said the FBI, LMPD, U.S. Marshals and two other agencies had an extensive list pinpointing 57 people wanted on warrants, people considered extremely dangerous. Authorities seized 13 firearms, nine from convicted felons.

“(It was) built off crimes that were gun-related, murder, homicide, anything aggravated,” LMPD Mobile Commander Major Billy Hibbs said.

Agencies said the job is not done, adding that they need the community’s help to keep moving forward in the fight against violent crime.

“It’s a step in the right direction -- a baby step, baby step,” Corcoran said.

“I’m glad about it,” Thomas said. “It’s a new day and I hope they get all of them.”

The operation led to 136 charges, and the majority of the people arrested are still in custody. WAVE 3 News asked about the details of the arrests and who the suspects were, but no other information was shared.

The authorities said they believed narcotics are behind the violence in Louisville.

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.