Three Louisville teenagers were shot within five hours on the same block in the city’s Shawnee neighborhood Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.
Police say two separate shootings happened on the 200 block of Cecil Avenue, one at around 9 p.m. and the other just 5 hours later. It’s unclear if the incidents are connected.
The first shooting sent two victims, a 15-year old boy and 16-year-old girl, to the hospital. The girl was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. Another 16-year old girl was transported to University Hospital from the scene of the second shooting with “critical injuries.” She was pronounced dead late Thursday afternoon.
LMPD Police Chief Erika Shields and Second Division Major Steve Healey held a press conference Thursday afternoon, asking the public for help in solving the cases. Shields said easy access to guns is a problem.
“The availability of guns in the hands of young people is the driver of this,” she said. “If you don’t have the guns, you don’t have the shooting.”
Shields declined to speak to possible motives for the crimes, but says police are focused on investigating and preventing any retaliatory action.
Shields also said that adults who might have witnessed the second shooting are not cooperating with police.
“To me, that is shameful,” she said. “You have a child that is near death and the people that could provide insight don’t want to talk. At that point, we need to look in the mirror at ourselves and say what are we doing.”
The two shootings Wednesday night and Thursday morning add to what is expected to be a record number of shootings in 2021. LMPD data shows there have already been more than 100 homicides in Louisville this year, compared to 71 at the same time last year.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to reflect the death of the second victim.