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‘A rainstorm of bullets’: Shooting victims’ parents say Ballard Park scene shows how dangerous Louisville is

Published: Jun. 15, 2021 at 6:41 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 11:01 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville’s record homicide rate has continued into the month of June. Community activist Christopher 2X, the founder of Game Changers, told WAVE 3 News in the first two weeks of June, there have been 14 homicides and 34 non-fatal shootings.

“All of them yearn for answers, but when you get these numbers. I tell them the truth, don’t expect answers to come that quick,” 2X said. “The more individuals being impacted by these shootings, there’s no way the men/women in power who are trying to get the families’ answers can keep up. There’s no way.”

One of those shootings happened on June 7 at Ballard Park, when a Louisville Metro Police spokesperson told WAVE 3 News someone fired 174 rounds and hit two people. Police later confirmed a 17-year old boy was killed and a girl was shot in the leg.

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17-year-old DeJuan Coward died days after being shot at Ballard Park.
17-year-old DeJuan Coward died days after being shot at Ballard Park.(WAVE)

The injured teenage girl is Krista and Navada Gwynn’s daughter.

“They didn’t have time to react, think — nothing,” Krista Gwynn said. “It just came down all of a sudden like a rainstorm of bullets.”

Krista Gwynn told WAVE 3 News her daughter sent her a text message after she was shot. That’s when she and her husband raced to the scene in a panic.

“My son wasn’t 19 for 30 days when he lost his life,” Krista Gwynn said. “So here’s my daughter just turning 19. Like, is 19 a curse for my kids? So, she says, ‘Mom, I got shot.’ And to see that in a text, my husband’s in the other room, I go running in to him. To think, ‘Hey, I’m going to show up and you’re going to tell me another one of mine is gone.’ It makes you want to lose your mind.”

On Dec. 19, 2019, the couple’s 19-year-old son Christian was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting on 43rd Street and Market Street on his way home. Since his death, the Gwynns have become advocates against gun violence, partnering with 2X to encourage teenagers to find different ways to resolve their conflicts.

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Nearly 500 days after Christian Gwynn’s death, police arrested and charged a man with his murder.

“Just trying to show a little strength here and teach these kids there’s a better way to go about things,” Navada Gwynn said. ”It’s hard to be sitting in this predicament again and show so much restraint.”

“These kids need somebody to fight for them,” Krista Gwynn said. “I don’t know what’s going on in these children’s minds and they feel like gun violence is the answer. These babies — and they are, they’re babies — they need to realize their lives are worth more than this.”

Krista Gwynn said her daughter is expected to survive but will need a metal rod put in her leg.

Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.