'There was nothing I could do’: Bystanders recall deadly Friday shooting in the Highlands

Published: Oct. 24, 2020 at 2:18 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro police detectives are looking for a suspect in a deadly shooting in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood.

According to Dwight Mitchell, an LMPD spokesperson, the shooting was reported around 2:45 p.m. on Highland Avenue outside of the Free Hype Shop.

A man named Rob, who did not want to share his last name, told WAVE 3 News he was eating lunch at a nearby business when he heard several shots being fired.

“I’ll never forget it. I know that,” Rob said.

Rob was on his lunch break, enjoying some Wick’s Pizza on the sidewalk when he heard three shots around the corner, then four more.

“I thought, ‘That’s not a gun, that’s a car, that’s fireworks or something,’” Rob said.

Then, the people around him started to scatter. Workers inside of nearby salons and stores were diving for cover.

Rob said he saw the victim on the ground and tried to help him.

“When I walked around the corner he was on the ground,” Rob said. “It appeared they shot him in the back from inside the store as he was leaving, and he was on the ground face first with no pulse and was bloody, so, I backed up and called 911.”

Rob describes a scene so traumatizing, so violent and vivid he couldn’t go back to work.

“I wish I could have done something for him,” Rob said. “There was nothing I could do.”

Detectives spent hours weaving dozens of evidence markers strewn across the street, dodging shards of glass from windows hit by bullets.

“Some people outside the shop, I guess, saw some people inside the shop, they didn’t like each other and someone started shooting at someone and it escalated from there,” Michael Wickliffe, the owner of Wick’s Pizza, said.

Wickliffe, hours later, couldn’t get the images out of his mind. He says nothing like this has ever happened on Highland Avenue in the 30 years he’s been there.

“I’ve never seen someone pass away in front of me like that,” Wickliffe said. “It was sad, still trying to process that. There’s bullets in the building across the street, there’s bullet holes through this building, in the cars in the street. There were a lot of shots fired and thank god no innocent bystander in the neighborhood got hit by any bullets.”

The victim was taken to University of Louisville Hospital where he was pronounced dead. His name has not been released.

No arrests have been made in the case and officers are looking for any suspects involved. Anyone with information is asked to call the LMPD Crime Tip Line at 502-574-LMPD (5673).

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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