A 21-year-old man running for Louisville’s metro council was arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection to the Monday shooting of a mayoral candidate in his campaign headquarters, authorities said.
Quintez Brown was arrested Monday for allegedly shooting at Craig Greenberg, whose shirt was grazed by a bullet. During his first court appearance on Tuesday, Brown pleaded not guilty to the charges of attempted murder and four counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. His bail was set at $100,000.
According to a police report, a man later identified as Brown walked into Greenberg’s office on Monday morning in the Butchertown Market and fired a 9mm Glock handgun before fleeing, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
Greenberg and his staff began barricading the door with tables and chairs. The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) received the call around 10:15 a.m. and began clearing the building. After officers determined that the targeted location was Greenberg’s campaign headquarters, the candidate and four of his staff members were evacuated. There were no injuries reported.
“We’re extraordinarily grateful for our safety. We are shaken but safe,” Greenberg said during a news conference on Monday.
Officers found a man matching the suspect’s description less than a half-mile from the campaign headquarters shortly after the incident. Surveillance video from the building showed the suspect wearing clothes and carrying a bag that matched Brown’s, according to the arrest report. He was allegedly carrying a loaded 9mm magazine in his pants pocket and had a drawstring bag with a handgun plus additional handgun magazines.
LMPD Chief Erika Shields said there is no known motive, and it appears the shooter acted alone.
“We don’t know if it’s tied to the candidate, is political, or are we dealing with someone who has mental issues or is venomous,” Shields said during a news conference on Tuesday.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Brown’s attorney, Rob Eggert, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. He requested his bond be lowered citing he does not have a criminal record, besides a speeding ticket, and urged the court to take his mental state into consideration. However, the prosecutor’s office requested the judge raise Brown’s bail from $75,000 to $100,000, which was approved, according to WLKY.
Following the arraignment, Eggert said Brown had been battling “mental and emotional issues,” the Courier-Journal reported. He added he doesn’t know Brown’s diagnosis, if he knew Greenberg or where he got the gun.
“This is not a hate crime—it is a mental health case,” the Courier-Journal quoted Eggert saying in an interview after court.
If Brown is convicted of attempted murder, he faces a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison. If he’s convicted on felony charges of wanton endangerment, he could face one to five years in prison per charge.
Brown’s next court date is scheduled for February 23.
Newsweek reached out to the LMPD, which said it was unable to comment because it is an ongoing investigation.
Brown is a social activist who was running for council as an independent. He is a former intern and editorial columnist for the Courier-Journal and was involved in racial justice protests in 2020, the Courier-Journal reported.
During the hearing, Eggert mentioned Brown’s mental status, citing his disappearance last summer. The Courier-Journal reported his friends and family formed several search parties, handed out flyers and looked for Brown around the city. He was found safe on July 1 after about two weeks.
“We are asking for privacy and would appreciate everyone’s patience and support while we tend to the most immediate need, which is Quintez’s physical, mental and spiritual needs,” his family said in a statement after he was found, according to the Courier-Journal.
Update 2/15/22, 5:50 p.m. ET: This article was updated with information from Quintez Brown’s court hearing.