Mass shooting at Louisville, Kentucky bank leaves 6 dead, 9 injured

Gun Rights

Sometime after 8:30 a.m. Monday morning in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, police and emergency services warned the public that a “mass casualty incident” was underway. Police later revealed that 23-year-old Connor Sturgeon, an employee of Old National Bank, had massacred his co-workers at the bank’s branch across the street from Louisville Slugger Field baseball stadium.

Louisville metro Police stand guard outside of the Old National Bank building in Louisville, Kentucky, Monday, April 10, 2023. [AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley]

Interim Louisville Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel claimed police arrived at the bank some three minutes after the shooting started and engaged Sturgeon, leading to a firefight and eventually his death.

Louisville police and University of Louisville hospital spokespersons have confirmed that including the shooter, six people were killed and nine were injured during the brief slaughter. All the casualties were either bank employees or police officers.

The deceased have been identified as Thomas Elliott, 63; James Tutt, 64; Juliana Farmer, 45; Joshua Barrick, 40; and Deana Eckert, 57. Louisville Police officer Nickolas Wilt, 26, is one of three victims in critical condition. Wilt is still recovering in the hospital after undergoing brain surgery after he was shot in the head.

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In a Monday afternoon press conference, interim Chief Gwinn-Villaroel confirmed that Sturgeon was live-streaming the attack on his Instagram account, which was deleted immediately following the attack. Gwinn-Villaroel refused to state what kind of weapon Sturgeon was using, beyond that it was “a rifle.” The police chief said that Sturgeon had no prior contact with the department and had not been previously been arrested.

In an interview with CNN, Rebecca Buchheit-Sims, a manager at the Old National Bank, said she witnessed the shooting as it happened on her computer. “Shortly after the meeting started, the gunman, which is an employee, started shooting up the conference room,” Buchheit-Sims told CNN. “I witnessed people being murdered. I don’t know how else to say that.”

While she did not work directly with him, Buchheit-Sims said she knew Sturgeon because his father was her son’s high school basketball coach and her husband is also a coach on the team. She described Connor’s temperament as “pretty low-key.”

“I’ve never seen the kid get angry or upset about anything in public,” she added, describing him as “relaxed” and “extremely intelligent.”

On his LinkedIn profile, Sturgeon listed the Old National Bank as his only employer, while his education included a degree in finance from the University of Alabama, which he graduated from in 2020. Prior to being hired on at the bank, Sturgeon interned at the bank for three summers. In his “about” section on LinkedIn, Sturgeon noted that he was “on the Young Professionals board for Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana.”

At a press conference, Democratic Governor Andy Beshear said that one of the deceased, “Tommy” Elliott, was a close friend that “helped me build my law career. Helped me become governor.”

Elliott, per the Lexington Herald Leader, was a senior vice president at Old National Bank and a Democratic Party activist. The Leader wrote that Elliott “had given tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations over the last 20 years.”

In 2011, then Governor Steve Beshear, father to current Governor Andy Beshear, appointed Elliot as chairman of the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees, which, the Leader notes, “oversaw the state’s pension system.”

Police have not declared a suspected motive for the attack as of this writing. However, CNN, citing an “anonymous law enforcement source familiar with the investigation,” reported that Sturgeon was recently notified that he was going to be fired from the bank. Sturgeon allegedly left a note for his parents and a friend explaining what he was about to do.

In an interview with the Daily Beast, a former classmate of Sturgeon, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Sturgeon was known as “Mr. Floyd Central” due to his considerable prowess as an athlete. Standing nearly 6 feet, 5 inches tall, Sturgeon competed in basketball, football and track-and-field.

Notably, the classmate revealed that while playing sports Sturgeon had suffered a number of concussions. “We played football together in eighth grade. He was out most of the year because he had multiple concussions,” the former classmate told the Daily Beast. “Then he had a couple more in high school.”

Sturgeon’s concussions were so frequent he wore a helmet while playing basketball to protect himself. While it is not known if Sturgeon suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), athletes who suffer repeated head trauma and develop CTE can exhibit severe symptoms including depression, aggression and suicidal tendencies.

Before his social media accounts were deleted, it appears that Sturgeon “joked” about suicide occasionally.

Whatever the immediate circumstances behind Monday’s mass shooting, the unavoidable fact is that the scourge of mass shootings in America is a daily phenomenon, confirming that the problem is not on the individual level, but that society as a whole is sick.

According to a tracker maintained by the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), Monday morning’s massacre is the 146th time this year a mass shooting has taken place in the United States. The GVA tracker defines a “mass shooting” as an incident in which four or more people, not including the gunman, are injured or killed during a shooting.

Including the shooting at the bank, the GVA tabulated 22 different shootings in the United States on April 10, 2023. These shootings resulted in the deaths of at least 19 people and 26 injuries.

In fact, roughly an hour after the shooting at the Old National Bank, Louisville police confirmed a separate shooting had taken place just outside the Jefferson Community & Technical College (JCTC) building in downtown Louisville. The shooting left one person dead and another seriously injured. The JCTC building is located less than two miles from where the bank shooting occurred.

Students inside the JCTC building were put on lockdown for over an hour as police combed the area searching for the shooter. Despite the presence of hundreds of police, including FBI and ATF agents, within the vicinity, as of this writing no suspects have been apprehended in the second shooting.

Some 11,540 people in the US so far this year have died due to gun violence.

As in the case in every mass shooting, both political parties offered no explanation for the unending tide of homicidal gun violence beyond crocodile tears and “thoughts and prayers.” President Joe Biden tweeted that he and the First Lady would “pray for the lives lost” and called on “Republicans in Congress” to “act to protect our communities.”

What or how, exactly, he expected the Republicans, a party beholden to the National Rifle Association and fascistic militia groups, to “protect our communities” was left unsaid, because the truth is neither party has answers to the crisis and will do nothing to resolve it because that would require taking a deeper look at American capitalist society.

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