© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Mayor, Police Chief Share Frustration At Pegasus Parade Shooting

Creative Commons

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:

And the Kentucky Derby Festival, which produces the Pegasus Parade, posted this on Facebook:
The Pegasus Parade is the Festival's oldest and inaugural event, and one that families have enjoyed for 61 years -- and we want them to continue to do so. We are saddened that patrons at our event were injured – and frustrated that dozens of others were frightened. Our heart goes out to all those who have been affected. Safety is always our first priority. Working with law enforcement and other public safety partners, we take extraordinary measures to make our events secure. LMPD was there in force at the Parade. They responded within seconds. We were ultimately informed that the situation was under control, the suspects were in custody and the threat was removed. Working in conjunction with LMPD – it was deemed safe to continue the Parade down the route. The Festival has safety procedures and detailed Emergency Action Plans for every major event – as the Pegasus Parade is one of the largest, it is no different. Those plans were put into action tonight and allowed the Festival to respond swiftly, and the Parade to continue to conclusion. The Festival has been part of the fabric of this community since 1956. We are proud of the relationships the Festival has developed throughout the community and the mission we fulfill to our patrons.
This story has been updated. 

Stephen George is President and CEO of Louisville Public Media. Email Stephen at sgeorge@lpm.org.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.