LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Seven people were shot during protests that lasted into early Friday morning in downtown Louisville.
An LMPD spokeswoman confirmed that one of the victims was in critical condition. She also said several arrests had been made. What remains unknown is who was shot and by whom, as well as the names of those who were arrested.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement Friday that five of those shooting victims suffered mild injuries, but two required surgery:
“Last night and early this morning protesters took to the streets in downtown Louisville to express their deep frustration about the Breonna Taylor case. While the situation is still unfolding, we know (there) were several hours of peaceful protest before some in the crowd turned violent, leading to seven people being shot from within the crowd. Five are in good condition; two were sent to surgery. My prayers are with all of them. No officers fired their weapons, and my thanks go to the police officers who, despite risk to themselves, got aid to those injured.
Several hundred protesters converged on downtown Louisville for several hours as backlash from the LMPD shooting death of Breonna Taylor continues to draw national attention.
Protesters regularly chanted, “No justice, no peace, prosecute police!” and “Breonna, Breonna, Breonna!”
“I feel the community’s frustration, the anger, the fear,” Fischer said in his statement. “But (Thursday’s) violence and destruction is not the way to solve it. I support protesters’ First Amendment rights to share their frustrations, in a peaceful manner.”
LMPD officers blocked off several streets in the area, leading to the protest that at times became tense.
Taylor was shot dead in her apartment during a narcotics raid on March 13. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he fired once at the officers as they were breaking through the door of her apartment, not knowing they were officers. Taylor was struck and killed in her hallway.
Just after midnight, Fischer tweeted a short video from Taylor’s family, urging protesters to go home. While she said the support was appreciated, she asked the protesters to continue to keep fighting the fight, but in a peaceful way.
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“Breonna’s death was a terrible tragedy,” Fischer said. “But, as Breonna’s family said tonight, answering violence with violence is not the answer. Gunfire and vandalism does not advance our cause – and it cannot be tolerated.”
WFPL reporter Ryan Van Velzer tweeted video showing LMPD officers rendering aid to two shooting victims. Click here to watch that video, but viewer discretion is advised.
Also Thursday, protests erupted for a third straight night in Minneapolis, where a handcuffed black man named George Floyd died after a police officer was seen on video kneeling on the back of his neck for several minutes. Los Angeles saw protests for a second straight night in support of Floyd.
“Clearly, we, as a community and a country, have work to do to advance our shared goal of a society where all people have the opportunity to reach their full potential – and to live safely,” Fischer said.