The much-beloved WFPK Waterfront Wednesday is tonight, but will the evening be marred by the specter of the two Memorial Day shootings that led to one death and three injured at the base of the Big Four Bridge where the event is held?
1st Division Major Eric Johnson told Insider that there would be six off-duty officers at the park in addition to the seven that were already scheduled to patrol. He stressed in his speech to reporters at a press conference at 4 p.m. on Tuesday that there were 32 officers in the area of the shooting on Monday and that “this was not a staffing issue.”
Johnson said that he had already been in talks about adding more lights and more cameras in the park.
WFPK Program Director Stacy Owen told Insider that “Metro Police Chief Conrad and his staff are fully aware of our event” and that they “will work with us to make it safe and fun for everyone.”
LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said Tuesday that the incident Monday began as a pool party just off of the University of Louisville campus. The event ballooned and spilled into the streets where the party began to block access to various roads and business parking lots.
LMPD 4th Division was called in to disperse the crowd, which 4th Division Commander Josh Judah described as still having a “party-type atmosphere.” Once the police began towing and ticketing cars, the crowd thinned out and it became clear to the police that they were relocating to Waterfront Park.
Judah alerted the 1st Division and the Real Time Crime cameras were able to follow the crowd as they moved down to the park. This gave enough time for the regular patrol at Waterfront Park to call in for reinforcements. Typically on a holiday evening, there would be four officers on duty.
Little is known about the assailant or assailants or the victims. Detective Emily McKinley said that she believes the shooting was gang-related but had no evidence to be assured of that.
McKinley said not a single witness had come forward despite the huge crowd still at the park when the shootings happened. “This ‘no snitch’ mentality is literally and figuratively killing us,” she said.
From April to September, Waterfront Wednesday is a free concert series held the last Wednesday of every month. This month’s event is headlined by the Mavericks with Louisville’s Peter Searcy and New York band Hollis Brown in support.