As of Tuesday evening, LMPD reported 34 homicides and 119 non-fatal shootings, putting it on pace to set records for Louisville.
LMPD first responded to a shooting at 7th and Hill Streets around 3 p.m. Thursday where officers found a teenage boy who had been shot in the back while stopped at a red light. A person close to the situation said the boy's sister, who was also in the car, was also grazed by the gunfire.
Police responded to a second shooting an hour later at South 22nd and Madison where officers found a woman who had been shot. According to police, a two-year-old boy who was riding his bike nearby was also shot.
Later that evening, police officers responded to South 36th Street around 9:15 p.m. where they found a man who had been shot. A few minutes later, police found a man and a woman shot on West Gaulbert Street.
Officers responded to a fifth shooting shortly after 10 p.m. at Greenwood Avenue where they found a man who had been shot.
According to LMPD, all of the shooting victims were taken to the hospital are expected to survive.
"It affects all demographics," Raven Sanders said. "It affects all economic backgrounds. It affects all religions because bullets don't have a preference."
Sanders knows the impact and pain caused by gun violence. He co-founded Stop the Violence, Put the Beef on the Grill in 2014 after seeing several of his loved ones killed and injured by gun violence.
"My cousin was shot point-blank in her chest in front of her kids and husband," he said. "Another friend of ours from the neighborhood was shot in the back of the head."
Earlier this week, Sanders and several other community groups decided to begin a campaign to find a solution to gun violence: 30 Days of Peace and Prayer. He is encouraging others to join them in prayer every morning at 9 a.m., which he streams on Facebook, and to learn and collaborate on finding solutions to ending gun violence.
"We continue to allow the Devil to come into our lives and our homes but we leave Jesus knocking at the door," Sanders said. "Let's pray about it. 'Oh, we're tired of praying.' But those same people that are saying they're tired of praying have never prayed at first."
Sanders said the other groups who are working with him on this campaign include Vision of Life Outreach Ministries, Me'Clectic Transformations founded by GiGi Love, and Silicon Cafe founded by Myron Wilkerson.
"Everybody's screaming, screaming, screaming, but nobody's listening," Sanders said. "So once we can stop talking at each other and start talking to each other, then we can get something accomplished."
WHAS11 News asked to speak with LMPD and Mayor Greg Fischer about the rise in violence. Both declined to speak on camera but Fischer's office sent a statement:
“Every homicide is a tragedy, and the recent increase in gun violence is unacceptable. From a wide lens, the underlying causes will not be resolved simply by arresting people – we also must address long-term issues such as poverty and lack of access to opportunity. The recent spate of violence seems tied to several factors, including the illegal drug trade, minor disputes that quickly escalate, and the fact that there are too many guns in the hands of those who should not have them. We’re seeing a number of shootings involving juveniles, which we attribute at least in part to the pandemic limiting the number of diversions and safe places for them, including schools, libraries and community centers.
Reducing gun violence and addressing those root causes is the No. 1 priority for many Metro agencies, including LMPD and our Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, and we’re working in partnership with other law enforcement agencies on initiatives like GVI. That said, public safety is something we co-produce, and we need the community’s help. We urge anyone with information to please call our anonymous tip line at 502-574-LMPD (5673).”