The gunman who killed five people and wounded eight others in a mass shooting in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, legally purchased the AR-15 assault rifle used in the shooting six days earlier, according to police.
Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey said police received a call at approximately 8:30 a.m. of an “active aggressor” at the Old National Bank building. Employees were in the conference room having a meeting when the gunman opened fire, which officers heard when they arrived minutes later.
At least two police officers were shot and one underwent surgery. The gunman died in the ensuing shootout. The LMPD said they have opened two separate investigations into the shooting. The shooting between the shooter and employees will be investigated by the city’s homicide detectives, while the shooting between the gunman and the officers will fall under the jurisdiction of LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, which investigates officer-involved shootings.
The LMPD confirmed the shooter to be 23-year-old Connor Sturgeon. The gunman live-streamed the shooting on Instagram, and reportedly was a current employee of the bank.
Who are the victims?
Victims were taken to University of Louisville Hospital with “various injuries,” according to police. Four have since been released, while three others are in stable and fair condition. One of the injured, 26-year-old Officer Nickolas Wilt, was shot in the head while on scene. He is in critical but stable condition after undergoing brain surgery.
The five deceased victims include: James Tutt, 64; Joshua Barrick, 40; Juliana Farmer, 45; Thomas Elliott, 63 and Deana Eckert, 57.
Eckert was originally one of the injured but later died at the hospital on Monday. She worked as an executive administrative officer at the bank.
All of the victims worked together at the bank.
Barrick was the senior vice president for commercial real estate at Old National Bank, and was also an active member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church and basketball coach, according to Cincinnati-based WCPO.
“He would do anything for anyone and cherished his time with them. He had a wonderful sense of humor, was sentimental, and was passionate about life,” Jeff Barrick, the victim’s brother, said in a statement to ABC News.
Tutt was another active member of his community, previously serving on the city of Louisville’s Downtown Development Corporation’s board, and on the Oldham-La Grange Development Authority as a chair, per the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Elliott, who worked as a longtime fundraiser for Democratic candidates, was a close friend of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg. Beshear praised Elliott for helping him build his law career, and said he was one of the people who talked to most.
Farmer, who reportedly just started working at the bank in the last three weeks, was described as a “beautiful person that loved her family and friends,” her family told ABC News in a statement.
How have politicians reacted?
Gov. Beshear tweeted on Monday that he was going to the scene of the shooting, asking for people to “please pray for all of the families impacted and for the city of Louisville.”
Beshear later revealed that he has friends who were caught in the crossfire of the shooting. “This is awful. I have a very close friend that didn’t make it today, and I have another close friend that didn’t either, and one who is at the hospital that I hope is gonna make it through,” Beshear said, in a press conference Monday morning.
Beshear is a Democratic governor in conservative Kentucky—which has permissive gun laws, including the right to carry a handgun without a permit. Beshear is up for election this year.
He has previously voiced opposition to an assault weapons ban, but is in favor of red-flag laws, which allow authorities to temporarily take away a people’s guns if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others. He did not directly discuss any new legislation during press conferences. The state passed a law that banned local law enforcement from enforcing a federal ban or regulation of firearms without his signature on March 28.
President Joe Biden called for additional restrictions on guns in response to the shooting. “Once again, our nation mourns after a senseless act of gun violence – Jill and I pray for the lives lost and impacted by today’s shooting,” he tweeted on Monday. “Too many Americans are paying for the price of inaction with their lives. When will Republicans in Congress act to protect our communities?”
Kentucky Rep Morgan McGarvey, a Democrat, also called on Republicans to act. “We need policies in place that will keep this from happening again so that thoughts and prayers do not have to be offered to get another community ripped apart by the savage violence coming from guns,” he said during a Tuesday briefing.
“People’s lives aren’t political. Public safety isn’t political. Put those policies in place that put people first,” McGarvey added.
His words were echoed by Democratic Mayor Greenberg, who mentioned that ten city residents have lost their lives to gun violence thus far this year. Greenberg asked for action to be taken now to “end this gun violence epidemic.” He is a workplace shooting survivor.
This marks the 145th shooting in 2023, per the Gun Violence Archive. It comes nearly two weeks after the Nashville shooting in late March, where a shooter killed three children and three adults at a Christian elementary school.
The city of Louisville is planning on establishing a family assistance center to help survivors and families “deal with the trauma of this moment,” according to MayorGreenberg. A vigil will also be held on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
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