2 killed, 4 hurt in shooting at Louisville's Thanksgiving 'Juice Bowl'

By Allen Cone   |   Updated Nov. 24, 2016 at 10:15 PM
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LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Two people were killed and four wounded during an annual "Juice Bowl" Thanksgiving Day flag football event,

The gunfire erupted shortly after 2 p.m. in the annual gathering of games at Shawnee Park.

"This is very tragic what's happened here. I'm saddened. We've had over 100 homicides in our city, something that hasn't happened in a long time," Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell told WHAS. "And we consider ourselves one of the safest cities in America, but when you have a tragedy like this, it certainly puts a damper on that."

The shooters are believed to still be at large.

The victims were not identified, and Mitchell said the wounded had injuries that were not life-threatening.

Two women's teams were playing a flag football game when several shots were fired.

Stephen Washburn Sr. was recording video during the shooting. At least 19 gunshots can be heard in the video.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was about 200 yards from the gunfire. The game was called off after the gunfire.

"The Juice Bowl is a longtime Thanksgiving Day tradition filled with family and community cheer," the mayor said in a post on Facebook. "To have people with guns so disrespect life, Shawnee Park, and neighborhood tradition is sad and has no place in our city.

"I implore those with information about the shooting to please call LMPD. Witnesses who remain silent, as has been the case with too many shootings in the past, will solve nothing. The increase in homicides in our city should be alarming to everyone -- and LMPD needs the public's help to solve these crimes. Please call the anonymous tip line at 574-LMPD."

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined Metro Police in the investigation into the shooting.

A Louisville Courier-Journal source familiar with the investigation said Metro Police believe the shootings possibly stemmed from an argument. A man in his 60s bumped into the motorcycle of a man in his 20s who had a gun. After one person was shot, others pulled out guns, the source said.

Charlotte Waddell, a cousin of Muhammad Ali, said she had just finished talking to the mayor when she heard several gunshots.

"This is the worst Thanksgiving ever, I'll never be back," said Waddell, who has attended the event for years. "I'm pretty shaken up."

Nathan Hilliard, who was playing football when the incident happened, told WAVE he barely heard the gunshots before people starting running toward him.

Louisville's homicide total climbed to 106 for the year. The city's single-year record of 110 was set in 1971. The countywide total for 2016 now stands at 112 killings.

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