May 28, 2023


Let's Get It!

Shooter bought AR-15 rifle legally

5 min read

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The gunman in a shooting rampage at a bank purchased an AR-15 rifle legally a week ago and used it to “target” his victims, the Louisville police chief said Tuesday.

Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel confirmed the shooter was a bank employee who on April 4 bought at a local gun dealer the weapon used in Monday’s attack, which left five people dead. The victims were all bank employees, Gwinn-Villaroel said. Mayor Craig Greenberg said he could not confirm reports that the shooter had been fired from his job.

Video from the body cameras of officers who responded to the scene will be released later Tuesday, Gwinn-Villaroel said.

Greenberg urged federal and state lawmakers to give Louisville the “autonomy to deal with our unique gun violence,” which he described as an epidemic. Current laws “are enabling violence and murder,” Greenberg said.

“The reality is that we have already lost 40 people to gun violence in Louisville this year, including another young man yesterday, just a few blocks away,” Greenberg said. “That level of gun violence is beyond horrific.”

SHOOTING WAS LIVESTREAMED: ‘An evil act’: Louisville gunman was bank employee. Updates

Latest developments:

►911 tapes are expected to be released later Tuesday. CNN, citing a city official, said Instagram footage shows the rampage lasted about one minute before the shooter sat down in the lobby area and appeared to wait for police.

►At least 170 units of blood from the American Red Cross have been used to treat victims of the Old National Bank shooting, medical officials said Tuesday. Greenberg called for members of the Louisville community to donate blood.

►Greenberg said a vigil would be held Wednesday at 5 p.m.

THE KILLER: Who is the Louisville shooter who killed 5 people at bank? What we know about suspect, motive.

Dr. Jason Smith, chief medical officer for UofL Health, said rookie police officer Nickolas Wilt remained sedated in critical but stable condition Tuesday morning. Wilt, who was shot in the head, graduated from the police academy March 31. Gwinn-Villaroel lauded the actions of Wilt, his training officer and other officers at the scene.

“Just truly proud of the heroic actions of those two officers and everybody else that responded,” Gwinn-Villaroel said. “They went forward in order to save and preserve life.”

The tragedy began Monday morning when an employee opened fire inside a conference room during a morning staff meeting, a manager at the bank said. Rebecca Buchheit-Sims told CNN she was attending the meeting virtually on Monday and watched in horror as the shooting played out “very quickly” on her computer screen.

“I witnessed people being murdered,” she said. “I don’t know how else to say that.”

Officers received reports of shots fired at Old National Bank at 8:38 a.m., and within three minutes of being dispatched they arrived and exchanged gunfire with the attacker, who died at the scene, Gwinn-Villaroel said. Eight people, including two police officers, were wounded in the attack.

Gwinn-Villaroel identified the gunman as Connor Sturgeon, 25, and said he was an employee of the bank and was livestreaming while shooting. A SWAT team entered his house Monday afternoon in the Camp Taylor neighborhood in southern Louisville, and police canvassed the neighborhood seeking doorbell camera footage. 

According to his LinkedIn profile taken down after the shooting, Sturgeon was a summer intern at the bank starting in 2018 and graduated from the University of Alabama, where he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees by the end of 2020.

Sturgeon lived in Louisville but grew up in Indiana. He graduated from Floyd Central High School, where he played basketball. His father, Todd Sturgeon, was head basketball coach at the high school.

– Olivia Krauth, Louisville Courier Journal

The city’s downtown was the scene of protests in 2020, after police officers shot and killed Breonna Taylor, helping fuel the national outcry over the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police. In Louisville, a city of about 633,000 that is home to close-knit communities, Monday’s shooting once again sparked grief, anger and shock.  Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, who was born in the city, choked back tears as he talked about losing a close friend in the bank carnage.

Barbara Hedspeth, a clinical social worker who attended a vigil for the victims Monday night, said the city’s connectedness seemed to amplify the pain.

“In Louisville, you’re one degree (of separation) away from anybody else,” Hedspeth said. Read more here.

Chris Kenning

Jon High was driving to Against the Grain, a downtown Louisville brewery across the street from the bank, at about 8:50 a.m. Monday. He encountered a crowd running toward him and away from the Old National Bank complex.

“You would’ve thought Godzilla was coming down the street,” High said outside the taproom hours later as Beshear spoke at a press conference inside. “I felt like I was in the middle of something and just didn’t know what, so that’s very scary.”

Kris King handles marketing for Against the Grain and was heading into work when he was stopped by someone near the business. “I said, ‘I work here, I’m going to a meeting here. Can I just make a right turn?’ And he was like, ‘Well, you can, but there’s an active shooter with an AR-15,'” King said. Read more here.


Witnesses describe Louisville shooting

Louisville police say at least four people were killed and nine others were wounded in a shooting at a bank building in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. (April 10)


All five people killed in the assault were bank employees. Thomas Elliott was a senior vice president of commercial real estate and a friend of  Beshear. Juliana Farmer was a loan analyst, and Deana Eckert – who died Monday night at a hospital – was an executive administrator who had worked in banking in Kentucky for 31 years. James Tutt, the commercial real estate market executive for the southern region at the bank, started with the company in January 2015. Josh Barrick was the bank’s senior vice president of commercial real estate for less than a year.

“Our hearts are heavy, they are broken, and we are searching for answers,” Barrick’s pastor, the Rev. Shayne Duvall, wrote on Facebook.

Learn more about the victims here.

– Keisha Rowe and Donovan Slack, USA TODAY NETWORK

‘HIGH QUALITY PERSON’: Governor’s friend among those community mourns after Louisville bank shooting victims

The nonprofit Gun Violence Archive tracks all mass shootings, defined as a shooting in which at least four victims are hit by gunfire. There have been 146 mass shootings this year – up 10% over the previous record year of 2021, said Mark Bryant, executive director.

One hundred days into 2023, there have been 15 mass killings – shootings in which four or more people were killed, not including the shooter – in the U.S., according to a USA TODAY/Associated Press/Northeastern University database tracking the killings. Only two times since 2006 has the U.S. witnessed more than 15 mass killings by April 10, according to the database.

“This is consistent with the overall trend that mass shootings are becoming more frequent,” said James Densley, co-founder of the Violence Project, a nonprofit research center. Read more here.

– Grace Hauck

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