LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Andy Beshear held a news conference Monday morning regarding a deadly early morning shooting in Louisville.
“We are still learning a significant amount,” said Beshear. (To watch the entire press conference, click here)
According to LMPD Chief Conrad, officers and National Guard soldiers were sent to Dino’s Food Mart on 26th and Broadway around 12:15 a.m. on June 1 to break up a large crowd that had gathered in the parking lot.
While clearing the lot, someone in the crowd began shooting at them. Both LMPD officers and National Guard soldiers returned fire. At some point, a man was shot and killed.
“My understanding is that there is significant camera footage, body camera and otherwise,” said Beshear.
Governor Beshear has asked the footage be released as soon as possible, “Let’s put it out. Let’s let people see it. Because I believe, if the truth shows, that there was an act of aggression, of firing upon LMPD and the National Guard and shows the response, if folks believe that’s justified that they will be able to accept the truth. But they’ve got to be able to see the truth.”
Beshear also addressed the protests in Lexington saying, “There has been more of a coming together in Lexington and that’s been uplifting to see.”
Governor Beshear said Kentucky State Police has been authorized to investigate, noting, “KSP was not in any way involved in those issues.”
“Our protests have primarily been peaceful,” said Beshear, who added professional vandals are the ones trying to create violence. “I don’t want anybody hurt in all of this.”
Governor Beshear said it’s why he’s called in the National Guard to help assist.
“We believe shots were fired last night by LMPD and a couple members of the National Guard, I believe two. Both of those individuals have been pulled off of that direct duty while we’re determining what happened,” said Beshear.
Governor Beshear said the 9 p.m. curfew was effective in allowing the peaceful protesters to be heard, “There is an opportunity to be heard, during the day time.”
No word if the curfew will be implemented again Monday.
Adjutant General of Kentucky Haldane Lamberton addressed the weapons used by authorities saying they were appropriate, “Same or similar types of weapons carried by the LMPD and also the KSP.”
“The LMPD and the National Guard were fired upon,” added Gov. Beshear. “Their weapons were not loaded until they were fired upon.”
When asked whether the heavy police presence may have escalated the scene, Gov. Beshear said, “My belief was that it was going to escalate.” He added, “We were going to see significant violence.”
“We will have a similar presence tonight to ensure that we keep order,” said Gov. Beshear.
Governor Beshear said he’s also worried about the spread of COVID-19 during the protests and the use of tear gas to disperse crowds, “That’s why I wanted to talk to Rep. Booker and others who have been in harms way.”
According to WHAS, Louisville Metro Police are interviewing several persons of interest, according to Chief Conrad, and they are collecting video from the incident. Chief Conrad also said the information about this incident may change as the department continues to investigate. The department is expected to release more information later today.
The identities of the victim or any potential suspects have not been released.
More on the protester killed early Monday in Louisville HERE.
Watch the full news conference by Gov. Beshear HERE.