Louisville man arrested for fatal shooting in Jefferson Square Park

Louisville man arrested for fatal shooting in Jefferson Square Park
Steven Nelson Lopez has been in police custody since the shooting occurred Saturday, charged with one count of murder and one count of wanton endangerment first degree. (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The man accused of fatally shooting a local photographer at Jefferson Square Saturday night had been arrested twice before for rioting related charges.

WAVE 3 News has learned the suspect’s name is Steven Nelson Lopez. He’s been in police custody since the shooting occurred Saturday around 9 p.m. He’s been charged with one count of murder and one count of wanton endangerment first degree.

Lopez, who had been camping at Jefferson Square had been asked to leave earlier in the day by other protesters for his "disruptive behavior" Mayor Greg Fischer said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

According to an arrest report, LMPD officers notified MetroSafe of multiple gunshots fired in Jefferson Square Park around 8:59 p.m. Officers responded on scene at this time to find a victim suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.

The victim was found unresponsive lying in the middle of the park near a concrete wall.

Lopez, according to the report, was seen shooting a firearm into a large crowd of people at the park. The gunfire struck the victim, later revealed by the coroner as Tyler Gerth.

Gerth was shot in the head and pronounced dead on scene by officers.

Lopez was identified by multiple witnesses at the scene, and observed in video surveillance shooting the handgun into the crowd, where according to police, he was showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life and creating a substantial danger of death or serious injury to others.”

While the suspect shot into the crowd, other bystanders returned fire to protect their life and the lives of others. Lopez sustained a non-serious injury from a gunshot wound to the leg during the crossfire.

Lopez was taken into custody on scene without further incident and transported to the hospital.

WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters found Lopez had been arrested twice, back to back, in the last two weeks.

On June 17th Lopez was arrested for inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, harassment and buying/possessing drug paraphernalia. Just two days later, records show Lopez was arrested yet again on June 19th. Those charges included unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct.

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