A 21-year-old activist, journalist and candidate for office has been arrested and charged in connection with the “attempted assassination” of a Louisville mayoral candidate, local authorities said late Monday.
Quintez Brown was taken into custody without incident after police said a gunman walked into candidate Craig Greenberg’s office hours early, and opened fire.
“When we greeted him, he pulled out a gun aimed directly at me, and began shooting,” Greenberg recalled at an afternoon news conference.
Brown has been charged with attempted murder and four counts of wanton endangerment, according to a Louisville Metro Police spokesperson.
The 21-year-old was identified as “a former intern and editorial columnist” of the Louisville Courier-Journal by the paper itself, where he wrote that he had studied philosophy and Pan-Africanism while studying at the University of Louisville, where he'd previously served as the opinion editor of the school’s newspaper, the Cardinal.
Miraculously, no one was harmed in the Monday morning shooting, which Greenberg called “a surreal experience.” A police spokesperson told The Daily Beast that Greenberg and his staff were uninjured—but a bullet did strike the back of Greenberg’s sweater.
A brave staffer managed to shut the door, and the group barricaded themselves inside while the shooter fled, the lawyer said at the conference.
“We are shaken, but safe,” he added.
While Brown’s motive remains unclear, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Erika Shields said that early evidence suggests that the shooter “acted alone” and deliberately targeted the Democrat.
Metro Council President David James was the first to call the incident “an attempted assassination.”
Greenberg refused to comment on whether he recognized the gunman.
Brown wrote his first column for the Courier-Journal in 2018, describing how he’d staged a sit-in at a local high school to demand the termination of a school official who’d used racially insensitive language.
He went on to pen dozens of columns for the paper, writing largely about racism, poverty, and violence.
After getting involved in the racial justice protests in the summer of 2020, Brown vanished for roughly two weeks, according to the Courier-Journal. His family asked for privacy upon his reappearance.
Several months later, Brown posted a video to Twitter to announce he would be running to represent a local district on Louisville’s Metro Council.
Quintez Brown, 21, is running to represent District 5 for Louisville’s Metro Council.
“Frederick Douglass said that the youth should fight to be leaders today, because the men who run this country are sick.” - Kwame Ture pic.twitter.com/tUCjXXG2hS
— Quintez Brown - District 5 (@tez4liberation) December 15, 2021
In his penultimate column for the Courier-Journal, titled “How the American education system destroyed me as a Black student,” Brown wrote, “I’m America’s bright future. I’ve become another symbol of neoliberal progress where my title and my ‘recognized’ name will give hope to those in desperate need of food, security and shelter.”
“And thus I’ve become destroyed,” he concluded. “No longer myself. But another tool of oppression.”
My team and I are fortunately all safe. We are all with LMPD now. I will provide an update as soon as possible. Thank you for the outpouring of support.
— Craig Greenberg (@RunWithCraig) February 14, 2022
Mayoral candidate Timothy Findley added in a Monday tweet that he was “praying for the saftey [sic] of Craig Greenberg and staff” before calling the incident “unacceptable.”
According to his campaign website, Greenberg is an attorney and former CEO of 21C Museum Hotels. The Harvard law school graduate and member of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees has previously said that public safety would be his top priority if elected.
Last month, Greenberg released a public safety plan that called for a “community-oriented police force.”
“Louisville is in a tough spot,” Greenberg said in a statement accompanying the plan. “Our neighborhoods feel less safe, violent crime is rising, and too many people are trapped in addiction. We see abandoned cars on the streets and graffiti and trash in many neighborhoods. You’ve shared your concerns with me as I have run through every precinct in our city. I share your worry and sense of urgency to fix this and fix this now.”
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