Louisville Police Shoot Man Dead While Trying to Clear Crowd of Protesters

Police in Louisville, Kentucky shot a man dead amid protests decrying police killings of black people across the country.

Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad said the shooting occurred at around 12.15 a.m. in the parking lot of Dino's Food Mart at Broadway and 26th Street, WLKY reported.

At a news conference in the early hours of Monday, Conrad said Louisville officers and National Guard troops had been breaking up a large crowd of people when a shot was fired at them.

Conrad said police returned fire and a man was fatally shot. It wasn't immediately clear if the man who died was the one who had opened fire.

He added that a number of people of interest are being interviewed by police in connection with the shooting.

"It's very clear that many people do not trust the police. That is an issue we're going to work on and work through," Conrad added.

The Louisville Metro Police Department has been contacted for additional comment.

The shooting occurred as a curfew from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. was in effect for a second night in Louisville, imposed by Mayor Greg Fischer after protests on Friday night descended into violence, and police used tear gas to disperse protesters.

The fatal shooting comes after a reporter for a local news station in Louisville was fired upon by police while covering street protests in that city on Friday night. Kaitlin Rust, a journalist at WAVE 3, was live on the air when a man wearing a mask and vest that said "police" shot pepper balls at Rust and her team.

Meanwhile, six officers were injured on Friday, and one was taken to the hospital with a likely concussion after having "a firecracker thrown at him," LMPD spokeswoman Jessie Halladay told WDRB.

In a video message on Saturday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he had agreed to deploy 350 members of the National Guard to help maintain the peace in Louisville.

But the unrest continued through the weekend, with WLKY reporting police deployed tear gas on protesters in the city on Sunday night and made 40 arrests.

Louisville was already the site of protests after the death of Breonna Taylor, a black EMT who was shot at least eight times in her apartment after police officers served a no-knock search warrant.

The officers were searching for narcotics, but none were found in Taylor's apartment. The 26-year-old's death led to protests and a review of how Louisville police use "no knock" search warrants, which allow officers to enter a home without announcing their presence, the Associated Press reported.

But tensions in the city heightened again last week after the death of George Floyd, a black man who gasped that he couldn't breathe as a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee.

In his video message, Beshear said Taylor's death was tragic and pledged to listen and do everything he could moving forward. "We can't let our streets turn violent," he said. "Breonna's sister, Juniyah, has stated violence would disrespect her family's wishes."

This is a breaking news story and will be updated when more information is available.

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