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Arrest made in shooting at Breonna Taylor protest site

Police have arrested a man in the fatal shooting of a protester during a demonstration over the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.

Police said the suspect, Steven Lopez, opened fire at Jefferson Square Park on Saturday, with Assistant Police Chief Robert Schroeder saying Lopez had participated in the protests himself but was repeatedly asked to leave by other participants due to suspicious behavior, Reuters reported.

The shooting victim has been identified as Tyler Gerth, a 27-year-old photographer, according to WLKY, a Louisville-area CBS affiliate. Police also said Lopez was injured after bystanders returned fire and hit him in the leg.

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The park has been a central hub for the city’s protests over Taylor’s death. Protesters returned Sunday evening to hold a vigil for Gerth, according to a WLKY reporter.

“Tyler was incredibly kind, tender hearted and generous, holding deep convictions and faith. It was this sense of justice that drove Tyler to be part of the peaceful demonstrations advocating for the destruction of the systemic racism within our society’s systems,” Gerth’s family said in a statement to media.

“This, combined with his passion of photography led to a strong need within him to be there, documenting the movement, capturing and communicating the messages of peace and justice,” they added.

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Taylor, an emergency medical technician, was fatally shot by police serving a no-knock warrant on March 13. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was present in the apartment and said he fired at the officers after they burst in without knocking or identifying themselves. The three officers allegedly fired back 20 shots.

Taylor is one of several unarmed Black people whose deaths have served as a flashpoint for the protests that swept the nation in recent weeks, but, unlike George Floyd in Minneapolis and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Ga., no one has been arrested in connection with her death.

Brett Hankison, one of the three officers who served the warrant, has been fired, with Schroeder saying last week that he violated department policies on use of force and “blindly” fired 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment.