Police: Louisville shooter legally bought gun a week ago
LOUISVILLE (AP) — The bank employee who opened fire at his Louisville workplace targeted specific people with the rifle he bought legally a week earlier, police said Tuesday.
Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said at a news conference that bank employee Connor Sturgeon, 25, bought the AR-15 rifle on April 4 at a local dealership.
Armed with the rifle, Sturgeon killed five people — including a close friend of Kentucky’s governor — while livestreaming the attack Monday on Instagram, authorities said. Another eight people were wounded.
Gwinn-Villaroel also said that officers’ body camera video from the shooting will be released Tuesday afternoon.
The chief said that a rookie officer who was shot in the head while responding to the mass shooting remained in critical but stable condition Tuesday morning.
“It’s looking hopeful,” Gwinn-Villaroel told WDRB-TV about Officer Nickolas Wilt, who had graduated from training just 10 days earlier.
She said Wilt and other officers “unflinchingly” engaged the shooter at Old National Bank and stopped him from killing more people.
Police arrived as shots were still being fired inside the building and killed the shooter, Gwinn-Villaroel said.
“The act of heroism can’t be overstated on yesterday. They did what they were called to do. They answered that call to protect and serve,” she said.
The shooting, the 15th mass killing in the country this year, comes just two weeks after a former student killed three children and three adults at a Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) to the south. That state’s governor and his wife also had friends killed in that shooting.
Four of the injured remained hospitalized Tuesday — one in critical condition and three in stable but fair condition, University of Louisville Hospital said in a statement.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he lost one of his closest friends in the shooting.
“Tommy Elliott helped me build my law career, helped me become governor, gave me advice on being a good dad,” said Beshear, his voice shaking with emotion. “He’s one of the people I talked to most in the world, and very rarely were we talking about my job. He was an incredible friend.”
Also killed in the shooting were Josh Barrick, Jim Tutt, Juliana Farmer and Deana Eckert, police said.
“There are no words to adequately describe the sadness and devastation that our Old National family is experiencing as we grieve the tragic loss of our team members and pray for the recovery of all those who were injured,” Old National Bank CEO Jim Ryan said in a statement.
Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg told WDRB-TV that his focus moving forward would be on trying to unify residents in the city.
“We can’t let the targeted acts of evil violence that we saw yesterday in our city deter us from continuing on the path to make our city the vibrant, safe, strong healthy city that we all know it can be and all want it to be,” he said.