Suspect arrested after man shot dead at Breonna Taylor protest

The Louisville Metro Police Department block off the scene of a shooting at Jefferson Square Park, in Louisville, Kentucky Credit: Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal via AP

A suspect has been arrested after a man was shot dead during a protest in Kentucky over the killing of Breonna Taylor.

The suspect was admitted to hospital and is being interviewed by investigators, interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said.

Tyler Charles Gerth, 27, of Louisville, died after being shot at Jefferson Square Park in Louisville.

In a video of the shooting, the suspect was surrounded by several people before shots were fired and people ran for cover. The suspect had been participating in the protests since they began and had been arrested a few times.

“He had been repeatedly asked by other members at the park to leave due to his destructive behaviour,” Mr Schroeder said.

Another video posted on social media later showed at least one person bleeding profusely on the ground.

The shooting was at least the second during nearly a month of protests in Louisville over Ms Taylor’s death. Seven people were injured when shots were fired near the city’s town hall, prompting Ms Taylor’s mother to issue a statement asking people to demand justice “without hurting each other”.

Ms Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was killed in her Louisville home in March by police who were serving a no-knock warrant. Protesters have been calling for the officers involved in her death to be charged. One of the officers was recently fired.

Dozens of people gathered on Sunday at the park. Police officers arrived to hand out flyers that said overnight camping and cooking were banned at the site, but protesters would be allowed to continue gathering during the day. Police removed tents from the site and told protesters they could pick them up at a separate location.

John Kriner knelt for nearly 30 minutes at the site to pray for peace. He said it was his first visit.

“I just want there to be peace and calm,” Mr Kriner said.

For weeks, the park has been the epicentre for protests in Louisville after the police killings of Ms Taylor and George Floyd, who died last month at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Ms Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was originally charged with attempted murder after he fired a shot at one of the officers who came into the home. Mr Walker has said he thought he was defending himself from an intruder.

The no-knock search warrant that allows police to enter without first announcing their presence was recently banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.