Prayers and reform: Politicians react to Louisville shooting

At least one Louisville lawmaker called for a special session to address ‘commonsense gun reform’

By: - April 10, 2023 4:49 pm

First responders gathered the morning of April 10 in downtown Louisville near the scene of a mass shooting at Old National Bank near Slugger Field. (Kentucky Lantern photo by Liam Niemeyer)

LOUISVILLE — After news of a shooting in downtown Louisville broke Monday, Kentucky politicians quickly reacted to share their thoughts. 

Some called for thoughts and prayers for victims, their families and others responding to the incidents, while others made pleas for more gun control laws. 

Five people died, including the shooter, during the shooting at Old National Bank. Nine were taken to the University of Louisville hospital to be treated for injuries.

Late Monday, the Democrats who represent Louisville in the Kentucky legislature called for “real change” and promised to bring “communities together to talk about commonsense policies that would save lives.” Here is their statement:

“This morning, our city experienced a devastating loss of life to senseless gun violence. We hold the grieving families in our hearts, along with the brave first responders who put their lives on the line today and every day. Losing mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, to gun violence has become commonplace everywhere in our nation, but we cannot allow it to become normalized. This is not a tragedy that happened just to Louisville. These tragedies are happening everywhere in Kentucky, every single day and in every single county.

“As legislators, we owe it to the people in our districts to have real conversations about what each of us will do differently to stop these preventable deaths in our communities. What happened today was a symptom of a much larger epidemic. And while we know that this is a moment when our community needs to come together and heal, we also know that this does not have to be our reality moving forward. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be bringing communities together to talk about commonsense policies that would save lives. We will build a platform for real change for every Kentuckian. We commit to working with anyone who is willing to work in the best interests of the people of Kentucky.

“We will not forget the profound loss of this day, and we call on our constituents and our colleagues to help us end this scourge in our Commonwealth.”

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear traveled to the city Monday morning. 

Others seeking to become Kentucky’s next governor also released statements. 

State lawmakers who represent Louisville also commented on the incidents.

Leadership in both the Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate commented on the Louisville shootings.

“This morning’s attacks in Louisville are heartbreaking as lives are shattered by a senseless act of violence,” said Republican House Speaker David Osborne. “We mourn the loss of innocent life and hold those wounded in prayer as we do the families of both. As details continue to unfold, we also offer our appreciation to the men and women of the Louisville Metro Police Department for their response surely saved countless other lives.”

“After another senseless act of violence, the Senate stands firmly with the City of Louisville,” said Republican Senate President Robert Stivers. “During this tragic time, we will hold the victims’ loved ones and friends in our prayers. I commend law enforcement who rushed to the scene, placed themselves in the line of fire to protect the public, and ended an obviously deranged individual’s shooting spree. If not for these heroes, even more families and friends would be mourning today.”

Kentucky House Democratic Caucus Leaders Reps. Derrick Graham, Cherlynn Stevenson and Rachel Roberts said the following: ““We are beyond devastated by what happened in Louisville this morning as we and our nation endure not one but two shooting sprees in a span of hours.  We mourn for the victims who were senselessly killed or wounded and pray for them and their loved ones.  We also want to praise the decisive action and bravery of law enforcement that undoubtedly saved lives.  More broadly, though, we should not have to live like this – living in fear and in a time where legislative inaction regarding gun violence has become the law of the land.  We must demand more.”

Members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation also issued statements on Monday.

President Joe Biden called on Republicans to act. Vice President Kamala Harris also issued a statement.

Both the Republican Party of Kentucky and the Kentucky Democratic Party released statements on social media following Monday’s shootings.

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McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.

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