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Child in Jacobs neighborhood was shot while on playground, arrest citation says

Police said there was a shootout near Dena Dr. and Manslick Ct. and an 8-year-old was caught in the crossfire.

Two charges have been dismissed in the case against a man who was present during a shootout that left an 8-year-old injured in Louisville.

According to court documents, Dewann Billups, 22, had been charged with assault, wanton endangerment and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon after an incident earlier this month. Due to probable cause not being found, a Kentucky judge dismissed without prejudice the assault and wanton endangerment charges on Jan. 26.

The documents say Billups is still facing gun possession by a convicted felon charge.

Billups was arrested by Louisville Metro Police (LMPD) on Jan. 12 after police said he was involved in a shooting near a playground in the Jacobs neighborhood along with multiple other suspects. 

During the incident, a shot fired by one of the other suspects with Billups hit a young boy on a nearby playground. The 8-year-old boy was "seriously injured" and rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, according to the citation. LMPD said the child is expected to survive.

In the arrest citation, police said Billups displayed "behavior which showed great disregard for the value of human life and created a substantial danger of death or serious injury" to several people who were in the area where the shooting happened.

The citation says police used surveillance videos to connect Billups with the shooting. Before the incident, Billups was seen near a gold car outside of a store in the same area. After the shooting, Billups was seen on another video getting into the same vehicle with a gun and driving away.

A second suspect, identified by police as 20-year-old Damon Simmons, was also arrested in connection to the incident. He is facing charges of assault and wanton endangerment. According to a citation read in Jefferson Circuit Court, Simmons admitted to police that a gun found in his car was the same one used in a shootout on Jan. 12.

Credit: WHAS11

Mary Mason, who lives in the Jacobs neighborhood, said the situation was devastating.

"It just tears me apart inside to hear a little kid getting hurt,” Mason said. "I was in the house watching TV and all of a sudden I heard a - sounded like a firecracker."

It's a sound Mason said she hears every so often.

“I try not to come outside unless I'm going to the store or going to work,” Mason said. “I don't know. It’s getting bad."

She said whenever she turns on the news and hears about another shooting in Louisville, she always has a terrifying thought.

"The first thing that goes through my head all the time is my kids. I'm like, ‘Oh my God, don't tell me something happened to my kids,’” Mason said.

She said she doesn't wish it on any family, and with eight young grandkids herself, that's especially true when it comes to children.

"I don't like to hear kids getting hurt,” Mason said.

The shooting is still under investigation by LMPD 4th Division detectives. If anyone has any information, they are asked to contact LMPD through the anonymous tip line, 574-LMPD (5673) or the online tip form.

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