A shooter opened fire at a bank Monday morning in Louisville, Kentucky, killing four people and injuring nine more.
In a press conference Monday afternoon, police identified the deceased victims as Joshua Barrick, 40, Thomas Elliott, 63, Juliana Farmer, 45, and James Tutt, 64. All four worked at Old National Bank, where the shooting took place. On Monday night, authorities announced that a fifth person, Deana Eckert, 57, had died.
Fighting back tears, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told reporters that Elliott, the bank's vice president, had been one of his closest friends.
"Tommy Elliott helped me build my law career, helped me become governor, gave me advice on being a good dad," Beshear said. "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."
After the shooting, the nine injured victims, five of whom suffered gunshot wounds, were transported to the University of Louisville Hospital, three of the injured were in critical condition and required surgery. Three others have since been released from the hospital.
Two officers were wounded confronting the shooter — one with minor injuries, but the other critically, having been shot in the head. That officer, 26-year-old Nickolas Wilt, underwent brain surgery and is now in "critical but stable condition," Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said.
Wilt had just been sworn in as an officer after graduating from the police academy March 31, she added. In a tweet, the police department said he "ran towards the gunfire today to save lives."
The suspected shooter — who police confirmed they killed at the scene — was Connor Sturgeon, 25, an employee of Old National Bank. He used a rifle for the attack and livestreamed it on social media, Gwinn-Villaroel said.
"Let me say of this evil that took place today: We shouldn't hear the tears that were coming out from these families," she said. "And that right there sticks, because they are weeping because someone decided that they wanted to take life today."
A spokesperson for Meta told BuzzFeed News they "are in touch with law enforcement and quickly removed the livestream."
Bank employee Troy Haste told media outside the bank he had been inside the first-floor conference room when the shooter began firing. “He just started shooting. He had a long assault rifle and you could hear shots just start firing,” Haste said. “We were in the conference room. Whoever was next to me got shot and blood’s on me from it.”
Police initially said five people had been killed, but later clarified that that number had included the suspect. In an earlier press conference, Beshear said two of his friends had been killed and another injured, but later said he'd received "incorrect information," having learned the second friend he'd heard was killed was actually wounded but alive.
"I'd started to mourn, and now I know he's OK," Beshear said, adding that he'd visited him in the emergency room. "While it's going to take him a while to heal, it was so good to see my friend, see him there with his wife, and know he is still with us."
Beshear told reporters he knows "virtually everyone" who works in the building. "My [attorney general] campaign was out of that building. ... That's my bank," he said, adding that he hopes everyone affected "will reach out for help when they need it."
According to his LinkedIn page, the suspect had worked at Old National since 2018, when he began as a summer associate intern. His most recent position at the company was that of syndications associate and portfolio banker.
He had previously attended the University of Alabama as an undergraduate and postgraduate student, where he studied finance, and was a board member for the Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana, a youth development group.
Following the shooting, several of the suspect's social media accounts were deactivated. His father also locked his Twitter account.
Mayor Craig Greenberg thanked the emergency responders and asked the public to "pray with us" for the injured victims "fighting for their lives as a result of another act of gun violence."
"Our community will continue to come together," he said. "We will find ways to love and support one another and the families and friends who have been directly impacted by these acts of gun violence, and we will come together as a community to work to prevent these horrific acts of gun violence from continuing here and around the state."
Gun violence in the US is a public health crisis, according to the American Public Health Association. It is a leading cause of premature death in the country, responsible for more than 38,000 deaths annually. As of April 10, at least 4,916 people have died from gun violence this year, and another 6,600 have died by suicide, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. As of April 10, there have been 146 mass shootings in the US so far in 2023.
Using information from police, an earlier version of this post incorrectly spelled Thomas Elliott's last name and Deana Eckert's first name, and included an incorrect age for the shooter.