Mayor, Police Chief Share Frustration At Pegasus Parade Shooting
In a news conference late Thursday, Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad expressed frustration at the shooting that left two teens wounded at the Pegasus Parade.
The shooting took place at around 6:30 p.m. near Fourth and Broadway, as the parade was going on. According to Conrad, two teens -- a boy and a girl -- were shot and treated at the scene by police and EMS, then taken to University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Metro police detained two other teenagers in connection with the shooting within minutes, he said. They were being interviewed Thursday night.
Both Conrad and Fischer, who appeared together to address the media Thursday night, tried to emphasize that Louisville is a "safe" city.
"You had men, women and kids who were obviously frightened by what had occurred," Conrad said, "and quite frankly, I don't blame them."
Conrad said he was frustrated that gun violence had broken out at an event designed to bring the city together, and he questioned where young people are getting guns.
"What is so incredibly frustrating is the fact that you've got a day marred like this with violence -- something we see all too often in this city, but what is rare is seeing it at Fourth and Broadway, is just unheard of," Conrad said.
In March, Conrad testified before the Metro Council that violent crime in Louisville was up 4 percent in the first part of the year over the previous year. The spike in violent crime is a trend that has grown over the past three years.
Fischer said gun violence and easy access to guns are national problems playing out in cities across America.
"Where do these young kids get these guns?" Fischer said. "The streets of American are awash in guns -- in illegal guns as well -- that is a problem that must be addressed."
Louisville is barred by state law from enacting gun laws that are stricter than those imposed by the state.
Like Conrad, Fischer tried to emphasize that Louisville is safe, saying that two people out of some 100,000 parade attendees "put a severe damper on today's activity in our city."
"This obviously was not random violence," he said. "When people talk about violence in the city, what I emphasize to them, if you're not involved in trouble, your likelihood of getting in trouble is very small."
Fischer said the city has been putting more resources behind efforts to reduce gun violence, including through the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods. But, he acknowledged, Louisville has seen an increase in violent crime.
Gov. Matt Bevin, who walked in the parade, had this to say on Twitter:
Sad that a beautiful day @ the Pegasus Parade was marred by senseless violence..Thank God all will live, but when will we wake up&stop this?— Governor Matt Bevin (2015-2019) (@GovMattBevin) May 6, 2016
And the Kentucky Derby Festival, which produces the Pegasus Parade, posted this on Facebook:
This story has been updated.