LOUISVILLE, Ky -- It’s been one year since the shootings that were a wakeup call to Louisville. Two men were killed in a shootout in broad daylight and then another woman was killed right in front of police.
Today the city remembers and continues to look for ways to prevent another incident similar to what happened on May 17, 2012.
Louisville Metro Police developed a task force after May, 2012 to combat violence and they say so far it’s been a success.
They say they’ve had 614 felony arrests, seized $500,000 in cash and several pounds of cocaine off the streets.
For the families of the victims this past year has been a difficult one.
“To the world she was one person but to me she was the world. And I just..what am I supposed to do. How am I supposed to get myself back to be able to cope every day,” said Aja Nkrumah, Makeba Lee's mother.
Lee’s death was the catalyst for change in Louisville. She was shot in front of the chief of police on May 17, 2012 in the area of 32nd and Greenwood while police were working the double homicide of Tyson Mimms and Craig Bland. Police said they were involved in a shootout and killed each other in broad daylight.
“Now all I have left is grave sites and memorial to come to. I ride past here every day,” said Nkrumah.
Lee's mother spoke out Friday at her daughter’s memorial for the first time. Across the street from Lee's memorial was a rememberance service where the community came together to reflect and try and prevent another violent scene
“We are more laser focused. We are not just running and gunning per say. What we do is we go into these areas and try to identify these chronic offenders,” said Lt. Kit Steimle, LMPD.
After the murders, police developed a unit targeting violence and felony offenses in seven of the city's most violent communities.
“In the Parkland neighborhood, which is one of our targeted areas, total violent crime compared this year to last year is down 29%,” said Lt. Steimle
Even in these targeted areas residents say they see more police presence but don't feel safer. They say crime still exsists.
“No, not safer. But you do see them patrolling.”
Police say the city’s homicide rate is down 18% in certain areas and they’ve been able to recover 200 illegal guns from convicted felons in seven months.
They say there are about 100 known violent offenders in the community.