By Brendan O’Brien
(Reuters) – A bank worker armed with a rifle shot and killed four co-workers and injured nine others at his workplace on Monday as he live-streamed the attack in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, city officials said.
The assailant was fatally shot at the scene, the Louisville Metro Police Department said, but it was unclear whether it was police gunfire or a self-injury. inflicted.
The department identified the shooter as 23-year-old Connor Sturgeon, who joined the downtown branch of the former National Bank as a full-time employee last year.
In the latest in a long string of mass shootings across the US, police say they responded within minutes to reports of an assailant around 8.30am (12.30pm GMT) at the bank’s office near the baseball stadium SluggerField.
Officers fired at the shooter, who was armed with a rifle, Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel told reporters. The attacker broadcast live video of his attack on the internet, she said.
Police identify the dead as Joshua Barrick, 40; Thomas Elliot, 63; Juliana Farmer, 45; and James Tutt, 64.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, on the verge of tears, told a press briefing that he knew some of the victims, including Elliot, the bank’s senior vice president.
“He taught me how to build my law career, he helped me become a governor, he gave me advice on being a good father,” Beshear said. “One of the people I’ve talked to the most in the world.”
All nine people injured in the attack were being treated at the University of Louisville Hospital, said a hospital spokesperson, including two police officers. One of the officers, a 26-year-old police academy graduate, was hit in the head and remained in critical condition after brain surgery on Monday, police said. Two other victims were also in critical condition.
According to the shooter’s mother’s Facebook page (NASDAQ:), Sturgeon grew up in southern Indiana, just north of Louisville. The oldest of two boys, he attended Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, where he ran track and played basketball for the team his father, Todd, coached. He enrolled as a business student at the University of Alabama in 2016.
The shooter worked at the bank as an intern for three summers from 2018 to 2020 before becoming a full-time employee in 2022 as a portfolio banker, according to a LinkedIn profile page. He had had no prior contact with Louisville police, the police chief said.
“This was a targeted act of evil violence,” Craig Greenberg, mayor of the city of 625,000, told reporters at the briefing. Greenberg said he was also friends with Elliot, who had worked on the mayoral transition campaign.
Mass shootings have become commonplace in the United States. So far this year, the country has seen 146 mass shootings – using the definition of four or more shot or killed, not counting the shooter – according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.
In one of the most recent high-profile incidents, three 9-year-old students and three staff members were killed at a school in Nashville, Tennessee, by a former student on March 27.
In another unrelated incident hours after Monday’s attack, a man was killed and a woman injured in a shooting outside a community college in Louisville, officials said.
Police said there were several suspects in the shooting at Jefferson Community and Technical College, about 2 miles from the bank, who fled the scene and remained at large.
In response to the Louisville bank attack, President Joe Biden has once again reiterated his desire for Congress to pass legislation requiring safe gun storage, background checks for all gun sales firearms and the elimination of liability immunity for firearms manufacturers.
“How many more Americans have to die before congressional Republicans act to protect our communities,” Biden, a Democrat, said in a statement.