Records unsealed in mayoral candidate shooting attempt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A man accused of shooting at a Louisville mayoral candidate browsed the internet for location information of another candidate on the day of the shooting attempt, according to newly released internet search records.

Magistrate Judge Colin Lindsay unsealed the evidence Thursday. The records show that at 1 a.m. on Feb. 14, Quintez Brown, 22, searched Google for the location of the office of Republican Bill Dieruf. Dieruf is the mayor of Jeffersontown, a Louisville suburb.

The search records also show Brown looking at several of Dieruf's social media posts.

Federal prosecutors have alleged that Brown wanted to kill candidate Democratic Craig Greenberg to prevent him from winning the upcoming mayoral election, citing Brown’s internet search history, text messages and online posts around the time of the February shooting.

Brown faces federal charges of “interfering with a federally protected right, and using and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence by shooting at and attempting to kill a candidate for elective office.”

Greenberg said he was at his campaign headquarters on Feb. 14 with four colleagues when a man appeared in the doorway and began firing multiple rounds. He was not hit by the gunfire but said a bullet grazed his sweater. One staffer managed to shut the door, which they barricaded with tables and desks, and the shooter fled.

If convicted of all federal charges, Brown faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and maximum of life in prison in addition to any sentence he receives on state charges of attempted murder and wanton endangerment.

At a detainment hearing on April 15, federal prosecutors Federal prosecutors alleged that Brown searched for a candidate besides Greenberg but didn’t provide an identifying information.

Before the shooting, Brown was known to the community as a social justice activist who was running as an independent for Louisville’s metro council. He will remain in federal custody while U.S. District Judge Benjamin Beaton considers whether or not to grant his release to pre-trial home incarceration. A ruling is expected by May 5.

In a statement obtained by the Courier-Journal, Dieruf acknowledged that he was aware of the search records but was advised to not speak publicly because they were part of an ongoing investigation.

“I have been aware that Quintez Brown had searched my name on his computer since the FBI reviewed his Internet search history following the February incident,” he said.

“As mayor for the past 11 years, I’m sure my name has been Googled many times for various reasons,” Dieruf added. “It doesn’t change my daily life or the way I run the city.”

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Hudspeth Blackburn is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.