Police said Steven Lopez is facing murder and first degree wanton endangerment charges after he fired shots into the crowd, killing Tyler Gerth on Saturday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Metro Police have arrested a suspect they say fired shots into a crowd of protesters at Jefferson Square Park, killing a photographer and injuring another person.
Steven Lopez was taken into custody around 10:47 p.m. Saturday and is facing murder and wanton endangerment charges.
The chaos began when Lopez was seen shooting a gun into a large crowd of people. Local photographer Tyler Gerth, 27, was shot and killed during the incident.
Interim Chief Robert Schroeder said Lopez had been part of the protests since they began. He confirms Lopez had been arrested a few times over the last several weeks and was asked to leave the park by other protesters for his disruptive behavior.
Metro Police said bystanders who were armed “returned fire to protect their life and the life of others.”
Police said Lopez received a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the leg.
He is currently at University Hospital where he is in police custody.
A video was posted to social media Saturday night showing panic and fear among those who were at the scene. Mayor Greg Fischer addressed the incident during press conference on Sunday.
“Whether they were there at the time of the shooting or not, I know the sadness of those who have been organizing and participating in peaceful protest for racial justice. this is absolutely not what they wanted or any of us wanted. no one wanted to see this area of peaceful protest become a crime scene,” Fischer said.
A makeshift memorial to Gerth had been placed at the park Sunday evening.
Police have not disclosed when Lopez is expected to be arraigned.