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UPDATE: Two dead, five injured in early morning mass shooting in downtown Louisville

Blue light flasher atop of a police car. City lights on the background.
Two men were killed, and five others were wounded in an early morning shooting Sunday at a restaurant in downtown Louisville.

Two men were killed, and five others were wounded in an early morning mass shooting Sunday at a restaurant in downtown Louisville.

This story was updated at 5:50 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2023.

Louisville Metro Police officers responded around 3 a.m. Sunday to a report of a shooting at Southern Restaurant and Lounge on Market Street, according to police officials. On arrival, they found a man who had been fatally shot.

Two other men and three women were injured and transported to University of Louisville Hospital. A seventh victim was being treated at Jewish Hospital, police said.

At a press conference Sunday afternoon, Mayor Craig Greenberg confirmed a second victim had died at the hospital.

“Our city has been struck by yet another gun violence tragedy,” Greenberg said. “Our thoughts are with these victims and their families.”

Police said Sunday afternoon they still have no suspects in the case, and are asking for the public’s help in the investigation. They say there were at least 200 people in the area when the shooting happened.

“We are urging people who know what happened to speak up,” LMPD Chief Deputy Steve Healy said during the news conference.

Police said at the news conference that officers had been at the same business multiple times in recent weeks. Officials say they have received complaints since early July including excessive noise, parking on sidewalks and blocking traffic.

A city spokesperson said the business also had a recent failed health inspection and that officials have been investigating whether they were operating under their license properly.

The spokesperson said the business lease had been terminated effective Aug. 31, but that they haven’t been operating for the past several weeks.

Louisville Alcohol and Beverage Control Director Brad Silveria said he’s seeking an emergency suspension order from the state board which would immediately revoke the license and block the owner from getting another in the future.

Greenberg said he wants everyone in Louisville to have safe places to celebrate and enjoy events, but that a handful of business owners are “knowingly and repetitively flaunting our laws,” he said. “This is not acceptable.”

“There are too many of these incidents happening in the middle of the night when bars and clubs are the only businesses that are still open,” he said.

Greenberg called on the Louisville Metro Council to begin talks with his administration and the community on whether bars should stay open until 4 a.m., as some in Louisville are licensed to do.

He also said the city is asking state legislators to give Louisville officials more autonomy to crack down on illegal gun use. City officials are also seeking funding for more police officers, and advocating the legislature for a state wiretap law.

“We can’t keep doing things the same way as they are and expect that gun violence in our city will go away,” he said.

A vigil was planned Sunday evening at Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church, 142 Crescent Ave.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.