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Derby weekend filled with violence, as city remains on pace for record-breaking homicides this year

"The volume is heartbreaking, it's absolutely heartbreaking," a UofL Hospital trauma surgeon said.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While it was a celebratory Kentucky Derby weekend, it was also filled with deadly violence.

"Sadly I don't know this weekend stuck out as different from any other," Dr. Keith Miller, a surgeon in UofL Hospital's Trauma Center, said.

The weekend's violence was not a surprise to Dr. Miller, who said the shootings aren't unusual.

"The volume is heartbreaking, it's absolutely heartbreaking," he said. 

Starting Friday evening around 8:30, an adult was found by LMPD with multiple gunshot wounds in a parking lot of a White Castle on Eastern Parkway. Later, just before 1:30 a.m. police responded to the Vibes Restaurant and Ultra Lounge on River Road where a male and female were shot. The woman was killed.

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On Saturday, two men were shot in separate shootings, one in the Portland neighborhood and one in the Highlands. Sunday, there were three shootings in 20 minutes. In one of them, 18-year-old Zhyan Robinson was shot and killed on Utah Ave.

"We've never seen a four months and three days like this," Christopher2X, with advocacy and outreach organization Christopher 2X GameChangers, said.

According to 2X, 2021 has already brought 59 homicides and 218 non-deadly shootings, which makes this year already on pace to pass last year's record-breaking violence.

"This is not acceptable for this to be the new baseline. This cannot be the community we live in," Dr. Miller said.

Dr. Miller calls the city's gun violence a public health crisis, one he wants to see the city tackle with the force it has COVID-19.

"We're going to have to apply that approach to this problem," he said.

"This is clearly a public health crisis. I don't only second that motion, I third and fourth it," 2X agreed.

After 15 consecutive months now of double-digit homicides, Miller and 2X said they don't want to see that trend continue through the rest of the year.

As of Monday night, LMPD said there aren't any suspects or arrests made in the weekend shootings so far. The homicide unit is investigating three of them and they urge anyone who may have information to call the anonymous tip line at 574-LMPD. 

Contact reporter Tyler Emery at temery@WHAS11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@TylerWHAS11) and Facebook.

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