When shots rang out around 9 p.m. Saturday in Jefferson Square Park, officers of the Metro Police Department in Louisville, Kentucky, “alerted MetroSafe.” That’s their nickname for the local 911 command and control center. Already on the scene to monitor the protest, they quickly detected unresponsive 27-year-old Tyler Charles Gerth, who had been fatally shot in the head. Other protesters were less seriously injured. The man they took into custody was no stranger to the police. They’ve been playing catch and release with him for a while now.
Fatal shots fired at ‘peaceful’ protest
Jefferson Square Park in Louisville has become the latest battleground in the Second Civil War. Demonstrators who have been gathering for weeks in protest of the controversial police brutality incident involving Breonna Taylor have suddenly been infiltrated by violent anarchists. Multiple witnesses have conclusively identified 23-year-old Steven Lopez as the armed radical who fired the shots.
Lopez has been charged with murder and first degree wanton endangerment but denies firing the shots that killed a peaceful young videographer and wounded several others. In court on Tuesday he insisted on exercising the constitutional rights he’s fighting so hard to abolish and pleaded not guilty.
According to his grandparents, long before he fired shots at fellow demonstrators, “he had a traumatic childhood, was diagnosed with mental illness and had been spiraling out of control after he stopped taking his medicine.” The ever-present Black Lives Matter propaganda certainly didn’t help.
Asked to leave for disruptive behavior
Even his fellow rioters didn’t want Steven Lopez hanging around. The incident was sparked off when “he was asked to leave the site for ‘disruptive behavior’ after getting into an altercation with a third person.” Apparently Lopez is “done being peaceful,” and started firing shots, right on cue. “bystanders, who feared for their lives, returned fire after he began shooting.” Say thank you for the Second Amendment. Lopez was hit in the leg.
The police removed him from the streets at least twice recently. He’s been “camping out at the protest center.” Lopez was arrested in mid-June, along with 17 other enterprising anarchists, and “charged with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, harassment and possession of drug paraphernalia.” As reported by the Courier Journal, “He was also reportedly in possession of a handgun with two full magazines of ammo when he was taken into custody.” Police made sure to give his gun and ammo back so he had plenty of shots to fire the next time he threw a tantrum.
He was arrested again, “days before the shooting” and even his fellow anarchists didn’t like him. “Lopez had been involved in several fights at the park during the course of the protests.” They were all but waiting for shots to be fired.
Police did nothing to prevent the fatal shots
The Assistant Chief of Police for Louisville, Robert Schroeder, admits they were fully aware that Lopez “had been participating in the protest since they began.” They had two chances to prevent the shots ever being fired and blew them both. Lopez, he notes, “had been arrested a couple of times over the past several weeks.”
Schroeder acknowledges the killer was a known troublemaker who should have had a restraining order keeping him out of the park. “He had been repeatedly asked by other members in the park to leave due to his disruptive behavior.” He was know to be both armed and disruptive and the police gave him back the very bullets used to kill Tyler Gerth. Those shots could have been prevented.
The police negligently allowed “multiple other people in the park” to roam around unsupervised even though they were known to have been “armed at the time of the incident.” It turned into a wild-west gun battle. Homicide investigators looking into the shots that were fatally fired “are still working to identify all of the parties who may have fired during the incident.”