Louisville Metro Police are urging people to refrain from shooting guns in the air if the Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team wins tonight’s NCAA national championship game.
Authorities are adjusting their plan for dealing with the large crowds of revelers based on how crowds assembled on Saturday night. About 200 officers will still be placed in parts of the city where large celebrations on are expected, but tonight more will be placed on Broadway between 26th and 28th streets.
“We did not expect to be experiencing shots fired, large crowds engaged in fighting, lewd behavior, criminal behavior—that’s something that has nothing to do with an NCAA celebration,” said Kenton Buckner, assistant chief for Louisville Metro Police. “That is something that we will strictly try to prevent for tonight’s event, something that will not be tolerated.”
“We don’t want to do anything to tarnish their hard work and put our city in a bad light,” he added.
Nine people were arrested in that area Saturday night after the Louisville Cardinals defeated the Wichita State Shockers in a national semi-final game, Buckner said.
Police arrested one other person from Saturday night celebrations, in the Highlands area, he said. A couch was also burned at the Cardinal Towne development near the Belknap campus.
The arrests were on charges including menacing, receiving stolen property and disorderly conduct, Buckner said. Large fights were also an issue.
But authorities were most concerned about reports of gunshots.
Those bullets, Buckner said, fall back to the ground and may injury people.
A person caught firing a gun in celebration could be charged with wanton endangerment—or more severe charges if a bullet hit someone, he said.
“We don’t want any weapons involved in any kind of celebration,” Buckner said. “That’s dangerous to anyone involved. And we specifically request that you do not do that. Anyone caught doing anything of that sort will be dealt with by our law enforcement personnel.”
Officers from Louisville Metro Police, University of Louisville Police, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies are participating in the crowd detail.
Police also plan to have a smaller detail on Tuesday night to manage potential crowds after the Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball team playing for a national championship.