Gunman takes shot at US mayoral candidate

Democratic candidate says gunman 'aimed directly' at him during a campaign event in Kentucky's largest city

Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg speaks during a news conference in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 14, 2022, after he was shot at during in his campaign office. AP
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A Democratic mayoral candidate in Kentucky’s largest city said he is “shaken but safe” after a man stormed his campaign headquarters on Monday morning and fired a weapon point-blank at him.

Craig Greenberg, who is running for mayor of Louisville, said he was at his campaign office with four colleagues when a man appeared in the doorway with a weapon.

“When we greeted him, he pulled out a gun, aimed directly at me and began shooting,” Mr Greenberg said at a news conference several hours after the attack.

The person closest to the door managed to get the door shut, he said. The staffers barricaded the door using “tables and desks,” and the suspect fled, he said.

“Despite one bullet coming so close that it grazed my sweater and my shirt, no one was physically harmed,” Mr Greenberg said. “We are shaken but safe."

Mr Greenburg declined to talk about the assailant’s possible motive, but he made a point to connect his experience to gun violence.

“Today is not a day for politics, but it’s not lost on me that the violence my staff and I experienced today is far too common in our city. Too many Louisville families have experienced the trauma of gun violence,” he said.

Police say the motive remains under investigation. The suspect appears to have acted alone, they said.

Mr Greenberg would not say whether he recognized the suspect.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear decried the attempt on Mr Greenberg’s life and called for swift action to punish the perpetrator.

“The person who’s done it needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” the governor said. “And if this has anything to do with a political race, my God, if you disagree with someone you vote against them.”

Police responded to the scene about 10:15am after reports came in of an “active aggressor".

The suspect was apprehended outside the building shortly after the shooting, Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields said earlier. She concurred that Mr Greenberg appeared to have been the target of the attack.

Mr Greenberg launched his mayoral campaign last year and has built a big fundraising lead in a crowded race to succeed outgoing Mayor Greg Fischer.

Charles Booker, a Louisville Democrat running for the US Senate, called the shooting a “critical reminder of the work we must do to realize true community safety".

Updated: February 15, 2022, 12:38 AM