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A Man Was Shot And Killed In Louisville After Police Said They “Returned Fire” On A Crowd Of People

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The man was killed by authorities as heated protests continued in Louisville over the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

The man was killed by authorities as heated protests continued in Louisville over the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

A man was shot and killed in Louisville, Kentucky, after police said that officers and the Kentucky National Guard “returned fire” on a group of people gathered outside a food mart early Monday morning. In a statement Monday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said that the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) and the Kentucky National Guard “were fired upon” while working to disperse a crowd as part of a city-wide curfew.

They “returned fire” which resulted in a man’s death, Beshear said, adding that he has authorized the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the shooting.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad told reporters early Monday morning that at 12:15 am his officers and members of the Kentucky National Guard were dispatched to Dino’s Food Mart on 26th and Broadway to “clear a large crowd in the parking lot” that had gathered in defiance of the city’s dusk-to-dawn curfew. Conrad said that as officers and soldiers were working to clear the lot, they were “shot at.” Both LMPD officers and the national guard units “returned fire” killing a man at the scene, Conrad said.Authorities have not yet identified the victim or the law enforcement officers who killed the man. They also did not say if the man killed was the person that they suspected of opening fire at the police and national guard members.However, family members told two local outlets that the man authorities killed was David McAtee, the beloved chef and owner of a popular barbecue joint located next to the Dino’s Food Mart.McAtee, 53, was known to donate his time and food for several community events. His mother and nephew told the Courier Journal that McAtee often fed the police and gave them free meals.”He fed them free,” McAtee’s mother, Odessa Riley, said. “He fed the police and didn’t charge them nothing.””My son was a good son,” Riley added. “All he did on that barbecue corner is try to make a dollar for himself and his family. And they come along and they killed my son.”

Conrad said his department was interviewing “several persons of interest” and were collecting video from the scene.

Referring to days of police brutality protests in Louisville, Conrad said, “Tonight’s protest once again turned from peaceful to destructive.”A bystander, who livestreamed the incident, said that the people gathered in the parking lot outside Dino’s Food Mart were not there to protest.”We were just out there chilling,” Kris Smith, whose Facebook live video recorded shots being fired, said in another video on Monday.”We weren’t protesting… we were just having a good time, we were eating… we were listening to music, having a good time,” Smith said. “That’s all we were doing out there.”Smith’s video appeared to show him and a group of others eating, drinking, and listening to music in the parking lot, before hordes of police officers and national guard members arrived in the parking lot and ordered the crowd to leave. A gunshot can be heard in the video, followed by a brief pause, and then the sounds of several shots being fired in succession.Several armed police officers and national guard members can be seen taking cover behind parked vehicles with their weapons raised.

A clip of the shooting was widely shared on social media.

“It was like a delayed reaction, like they were looking to try and see where it was coming from, if it was a gunshot, if it was a firework, or whatever,” Smith told the Associated Press. “Then all of a sudden they just started shooting.”

The LMPD and Kentucky State Police did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment. A spokesperson for the Kentucky National Guard told BuzzFeed News that they were “working with authorities to formulate our response” to the incident.

In a press conference on Monday, Beshear said he has called on police to release body camera footage and other footage of the incident as soon as possible so that “the people of Kentucky can decide whether this was justified or whether it is cause for more concern.””Put it out, let people see it,” Beshear said.

“This is really what it comes to?” Smith told the Associated Press. “We’re just having drinks, chilling and the National Guard pulls up with machine guns? I never thought I could just be sitting somewhere having a drink, minding my own business, and the army pull up with machine guns and jump out. Never thought I would experience that here in America.”Last week, seven people were shot in Louisville during heated protests over the deaths of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman who was fatally shot in her home by LMPD officers in March, and George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after a Minneapolis officer used a dangerous knee chokehold on him. Louisville authorities said that police did not fire any shots during the shootout.

Louisville officers have used tear gas and shot pepper bullets at protesters as well as journalists covering the protests.”It has been a difficult four days for our city,” police chief Conrad said early Monday. “Our officers are working very hard to keep people safe and protect property. While doing that, our officers have been shot at and assaulted. It is very, very clear that many people do not trust the police. That is an issue that we’re going to have to work on and work through for a long time.”

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