LMPD: No amount of personnel would've prevented shootings at Waterfront Park

FULL PRESSER: LMPD describes officer response to deadly shooting at Waterfront Park
Updated: May. 30, 2017 at 7:24 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
LMPD Major Eric Johnson
LMPD Major Eric Johnson
LMPD Chief Steve Conrad
LMPD Chief Steve Conrad
The incident happened about 9:30 p.m. on Memorial Day. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The incident happened about 9:30 p.m. on Memorial Day. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Police believe the deadly shooting on Memorial Day at Waterfront Park was gang-related.

During the press conference, police described in detail a chain of events that began near the University of Louisville campus about five hours before the shooting.

>> RAW VIDEO: LMPD officials describe police response to incident

Major Josh Judah, of the 4th Division, said a pool party in the area of South 4th Street and Brandeis Avenue became a large street party that spilled over to shopping centers in the area. As business owners complained, UofL police requested assistance from LMPD.

Officers worked for about an hour and a half to disperse the crowd, which they estimate was about 500 people. During that time, police obtained information that much of crowd was headed to Waterfront Park.

LMPD's 1st Division was notified and about 32 units were sent to the park to monitor the situation.

Small scuffles began to occur around 7 p.m., Johnson said. The 9th Mobile Unit was called in to assist at 7:30 p.m. Access to the walking bridge was shut down at about 9 p.m. Johnson described the situation as under control.

Johnson shared surveillance video from the city's Real Time Crime Scene system, which showed parts of the crowd that was gathered at the park.

+ City works to restore public confidence following holiday homicides
+ Frustrated LMPD to community: 'We have to speak up'
+ Man fleeing Waterfront Park after shooting found with gun
+ Victim of deadly Waterfront Park shooting identified
At least 3 shot, 1 dead at Waterfront Park

At 9:27 p.m., shots were fired just west of the base of the walking bridge, where about 20 officers were located. Those officers ran toward the shooting and eventually arrested James Porter, who was in possession of a gun, Johnson said.

Three people were found shot about 75 yards from the bridge. One of the victims, Anton Brown, 22, died from his injuries; the other two are being treated at University of Louisville Hospital.

"No amount of personnel would have prevented this from occurring," LMPD Major Eric Johnson said.

More shots were fired near the green lot at Waterfront Park at 10:07 p.m., according to Johnson. The 9th Mobile Unit detained several people in a car leaving that scene and recovered a gun.

A gunshot victim showed up at University of Louisville Hospital at 10:30 p.m., police said.

"In this case, we were there," LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said. "We had officers there in great numbers. And still, we had people who were so intent on their goal of shooting someone that they did so despite the fact that there were a large number of officers close by."

>> DOWNLOAD OUR APPS: News App | Weather App

Police believe the shooting was the result of a gang dispute, but they did not elaborate on those details.

Lt. Emily McKinley, of LMPD's Homicide Unit, made a plea for witnesses to come forward with information about the shootings.

"The 'No Snitch' mentality is literally and figuratively killing us all," McKinley said. "Not one person stuck around to tell us what happened. Not one person knocked on our door this morning."

Johnson said he observed heavy pedestrian traffic at the park on Tuesday, adding that patrols have been increased in that area. First Division officers will be staged at the Big Four Bridge and staffing will be supplemented with officers from the 9th Mobile Unit.

Copyright 2017 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.