With 7 dead, Louisville suffers one of the deadliest weekends of 2022

In the span of just three days, shootings across the city left six dead − the second-highest number of homicides to occur within just one weekend this year − and another person died in a crash allegedly caused by an intoxicated driver. Additionally, three people were nonfatally wounded by gunfire.

These latest homicides brings the total number this year to 121, just short of the 136 homicides Louisville had experienced by this time last year. Of this year's victims, 112 were fatally shot.

These six fatal shootings in a single weekend fall just shy of the seven homicides that happened during a March weekend − the city's most violent so far this year.

"It was a very rough weekend for the community and for LMPD," Maj. Matt Meagher with Louisville Metro Police said Monday afternoon.

Despite the six fatal shootings, he noted both fatal and nonfatal shootings are down this year compared to last year.

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How did this weekend's victims die?

One victim died Friday evening, three on Saturday and another three Sunday.

Two arrests were made in the fatal shootings as of Monday afternoon and the accused intoxicated driver also was arrested.

The first victim of the weekend was in West Buechel. Officers found 19-year-old Bryant Hawkins suffering from multiple gunshot wounds Friday just before 6 p.m. in the 4300 block of Newport Road.

No suspects have been identified, according to LMPD.

The next day, officers responded to an early morning crash on Algonquin Parkway.

Savannah Kaye Duckworth, 22, died after she was ejected from the backseat of a car after it crashed into a tree at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Her death is not being counted in the overall homicide count for the year.

Another passenger who was also in the backseat sustained life-threatening injuries, while the driver and front-seat passenger sustained non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Devyn Brock, 24, was driving fast and failed to negotiate a curve before going off the road and striking the tree, according to his arrest citation. Officers detected alcohol on his breath and Brock admitted he had been drinking, the citation states. A hospital toxicology report showed his blood alcohol level was .083 − just over the legal limit of .08.

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He was charged with murder, operating a vehicle under the influence and assault in the first and fourth degrees. He was held at Louisville Metro Corrections on a $100,000 cash-only bond as of Monday morning.

About 12 hours after that fatal crash, officers found two people shot to death in the Russell neighborhood.

Police first found a man in the 400 block of South 26th Street at Cedar Street around 2:45 p.m., who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Minutes later, they were called to another shooting in the 2500 block of Cedar Street, where they found a fatally wounded woman.

The victims, who shared the same address, were identified as 26-year-old Lamont Smith and 24-year-old Alexis McCrary. Police believe the shootings were connected, though they say no suspects have been identified.

On Sunday, another three people were shot to death.

Officers responded to the area of 7th Street and Algonquin Parkway at about 12:30 a.m., where they found a man who'd been shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A few hours later, LMPD announced 47-year-old Mark Owen was arrested and charged with murder, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and tampering with physical evidence.

Owen was seen on video shooting the victim in the head, according to his arrest citation. He was held at Louisville Metro on a $250,000 cash-only bond as of Monday morning.

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Later Sunday night, another two men were shot to death in separate shootings that happened a few hours apart and just two minutes away from one another.

Officers first responded to the 200 block of East Wampum Avenue at about 8 p.m. where they found a man who had been shot multiple times suffering on the front porch of a home. He was taken to the University of Louisville Hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

The following day, LMPD announced 51-year-old Laron E. Spalding was arrested and charged him with murder and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

Spalding was identified by multiple witnesses at the scene, who said after shooting the man that Spalding proceeded to hit him in the head multiple times with a gun, according to his arrest citation. He was found by officers near the scene, hiding in bushes.

Three hours later, at about 11 p.m., officers responded to South 3rd Street near Interstate 264 and found another man who'd been shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Although the two shootings happened near one another, LMPD does not believe they are connected, according to spokesperson Dwight Mitchell.

The victims of Sunday's shootings have not been identified.

For a third year in a row, Louisville's homicide count has hit triple digits.

"It never used to be like this ― this stuff is so widespread," activist Christopher 2X said in July when the city surpassed 100 homicides.

Each of LMPD's eight divisions have investigated at least five homicides this year, though several have seen more than 15.

During a media conference, Maj. Meagher asked for the community to come forward with any information relating to these homicides.

"One of the things we ask for is the community engagement and involvement - when we have that, our clearance rates are higher," he said.

Contact reporter Krista Johnson at kjohnson3@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Louisville homicides: 7 dead in single weekend, one of deadliest