Man arrested for fatal shooting in Jefferson Square Park

According to an arrest report, LMPD officers notified MetroSafe of multiple gunshots fired in Jefferson Square Park around 8:59 p.m. on June 27th. Officers responded on scene at this time to find a victim suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, lying in the middle of the park near a concrete wall. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department attempted to perform life-saving measures on the victim.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A second victim was found at the Hall of Justice soon thereafter and sent to University Hospital with non-serious injuries.
Charles Booker, Kentucky State representative and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, released a statement Sunday morning following the shooting death.

“We’re grieving this morning. My heart breaks for the loss of a peaceful protester in Louisville last night, and I know I’m not the only one in pain. As a community, we are devastated. We are exhausted. And we need change right now.”

His full statement can be found here. 

It has been released that the suspect’s name is Steven Nelson Lopez. He’s been in police custody since the shooting occurred Saturday around 9 p.m. He’s been charged with one count of murder and one count of wanton endangerment first degree.

Lopez had been arrested twice before for rioting related charges. On June 17th Lopez was arrested for inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, harassment and buying/possessing drug paraphernalia. Just two days later, records show Lopez was arrested yet again on June 19th. Those charges included unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct.

Lopez, who had been camping at Jefferson Square on Saturday had been asked to leave earlier in the day by other protesters for his “disruptive behavior” Mayor Greg Fischer said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

Lopez, according to the report, was seen shooting a firearm into a large crowd of people at the park. The gunfire struck the victim, later revealed by the coroner as Tyler Gerth.
Gerth was shot in the head and pronounced dead on scene by officers.

Lopez was identified by multiple witnesses at the scene, and observed in video surveillance shooting the handgun into the crowd, where according to police, he was showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life and creating a substantial danger of death or serious injury to others.”

While the suspect shot into the crowd, other bystanders returned fire to protect their life and the lives of others. Lopez sustained a non-serious injury from a gunshot wound to the leg during the crossfire.

Lopez was taken into custody on scene without further incident and transported to the hospital.