LMPD says shooting at Waterfront Park was 'gang-involved'

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- The Louisville Metro Police Department says a shooting at Waterfront Park on Thursday night was related to gang activity. 

Detectives think the shooting happened on the Great Lawn, but officers say they found the teenage victim, believed to be 19 years old, near the Big Four bridge, not far from the Skystar Observation Wheel.

"We did discover that this was gang-involved," LMPD Spokesman Dwight Mitchell said. "Certainly, we have not found the individuals responsible for this shooting."

The victim's name hasn't been released.

A 16-year-old who we'll call "T" doesn't want to be identified but is very familiar with the gang issues at Waterfront Park, although he wasn't there Thursday night.

"They'll get on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat, let's go to Waterfront like five of six, then a lot people will come and it'll be chill," he said. "Then out of nowhere, something breaks out."

"T" says "Those teens they carry their guns for protection to probably try and fit in with their other friends and they're also carrying guns to sell them."

Police say the teen who was shot Thursday night suffered a graze wound but is expected to be OK. Investigators are looking through footage from security cameras at the park for any clues. 

This isn't the first time violence has broken out at Waterfront Park. 

On Memorial Day in 2017, 22-year old Anton Brown was killed and three others were injured when shots were fired near the Big Four Bridge. LMPD says that case was also gang-related, and 32 officers were on patrol.

"T" was at Waterfront Park that day.

"It's just a lot of gang violence going on," he said. "The teenagers just don't care what happens.

 "We can't go to the malls anymore. We can't go and chill at the malls anymore, so we really don't have nothing else to do."

As the city gets ready for Thunder over Louisville on April 21, the Waterfront Development Corporation issued this statement:

Waterfront Park's record over the past three decades demonstrates it is a safe venue. We host hundreds of events and millions of visitors each year without incident. We have always enjoyed a close working relationship with LMPD and Metro Government, and we will continue to collaborate with these partners to ensure Waterfront Park remains a safe and enjoyable place to visit.

Mitchell said weather can be a factor. 

"Obviously when it warms up, there will be more people out, and unfortunately sometimes that leads to situations like this happening," he said.

Police are urging anyone with information on this case to call 574-LMPD.

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