LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Gov. Andy Beshear announced he authorized state police to conduct an independent investigation into an incident Monday morning when Louisville Metro Police and National Guard personnel fatally shot the owner of a barbecue business.
The victim was David McAtee, the owner of a barbecue business next to the Dino’s Food Mart parking lot, where the shooting occurred around 12:15 a.m. Monday, McAtee’s nephew told The Louisville Courier Journal of the USA TODAY Network.
Police and National Guard troops were breaking up a “large crowd” in the parking lot when someone shot at them, LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said this morning.
“Officers and soldiers began to clear the lot and at some point were shot at,” Conrad said. “Both LMPD and National Guard members returned fire.”
Conrad said it is unclear whether the person who was shot was the person who fired at the officers.
At a news conference Monday morning, Beshear said he contacted Mayor Greg Fischer and asked thLMPD to release the “significant” amount of body camera footage from the incident “as soon as possible.”
“Given the seriousness of the situation, I have authorized the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the event,” Beshear said in a statement Monday morning.
Conrad said police had several persons of interest who were interviewed after the shooting. “We are collecting video from the incident and expect to release what we have sometime (Monday),” Conrad said.
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The shooting outside Dino’s Food Mart came after a curfew had once again taken effect at 9 p.m. Sunday as protests and unrest over the death of Breonna Taylor continued for the fourth straight night in Louisville.
Mayor Fischer first implemented the 9 p.m.-to-6:30 a.m. curfew Saturday and said it would be reevaluated Monday morning.
Beshear announced Saturday morning that he was sending roughly 350 National Guard personnel to Louisville to “ensure the safety of everybody” and “help keep peace.”
“We cannot let Breonna’s legacy be marred by violence, and we can’t let our streets turn violent,” Beshear said, referring to Taylor, 26, an ER technician whom police officers fatally shot in March while executing a warrant inside her apartment.
“I hope everybody knows that this is a big step and a tough step. It’s not one intended to silence any voice because I want to hear,” the governor said, “but I want to make sure, at the end of the day, that we are all safe.”
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Although protests in downtown Louisville have started out peaceful each evening, the scenes turned chaotic and violent as the sun set.
Seven people were shot and wounded during Thursday night’s protest. Looting, property damage and clashes between police in riot gear and demonstrators have occurred each night since Friday.
After Monday’s shooting, Conrad said it had “been a very difficult four days in Louisville.”
“What is clear from what we’ve seen – from peaceful protesters to those who have shot at and assaulted officers – is that many people in our community do not trust the police. That’s an issue that’s going to take us a long time to work through,” Conrad said. “Once again tonight, we saw peaceful protest turn to destruction. We moved quickly to disperse crowds.”