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Suspect in killing at Louisville protest in custody

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The suspect arrested in the shooting death of a man during a Louisville protest over the police killing of Breonna Taylor had taken part in demonstrations but was disruptive and had been asked by other protesters to leave, authorities and protesters said Sunday.

The man, identified by an arrest citation as Steven Nelson Lopez, was hospitalized and being interviewed by homicide investigators about the shooting that happened late Saturday, interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said at a news conference.

Lopez was wounded in the leg by gunfire from bystanders at the park who were defending themselves, the arrest citation said. He has been charged with murder and wanton endangerment.

Tyler Charles Gerth, 27, of Louisville, died after being shot at Jefferson Square Park in downtown Louisville, authorities said. The Courier Journal reported that Gerth was an avid photographer and a vocal supporter of the ongoing protests whose godfather is a columnist at the newspaper.

In a video of the shooting shown during the news conference, Lopez was surrounded by several people before shots were fired, and people scrambled for cover. Another video posted on social media later showed at least one person bleeding profusely on the ground.

Several other people fired gunshots after the suspect began firing, but no one else was hit, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

“Whether they were there at the time of the shooting or not, I know the sadness of those who have been organizing and participating in peaceful protests for racial justice. This is absolutely not what they wanted or any of us wanted,” Fischer said. “We cannot let one senseless act by one individual derail that dream, that vision that we have as a city.”

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