On the morning of April 26th, tragedy struck the city of Louisville, Kentucky when a 25-year-old employee of the Old National Bank opened fire on his colleagues with a rifle, killing six people and injuring eight.
The shooting was reported to police around 8:30 a.m. and officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department quickly responded. One of the officers, Nickolas Wilt, was shot in the head and had to undergo brain surgery.
The shooter, Connor Sturgeon, was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police. Police are still investigating his motive.
The shooting happened in a part of downtown Louisville near a hotel, condos, and Slugger Field. The death toll surpassed that of a 2018 shooting that drew national attention when a gunman killed two Black residents at a suburban Kroger.
The city and state officials praised the response of the Louisville Metro Police Department, with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear saying, “There is no doubt in my mind that their efforts saved lives.”
President Joe Biden also praised the police response and called on Republican lawmakers to pass gun safety measures such as requiring safe storage of firearms, background checks for people buying guns, and eliminating the immunity from liability from gun manufacturers.
The victims of the shooting included Josh Barrick, 40, James “Jim” Tutt Jr., 64, Juliana Farmer, 45, Thomas “Tommy” Elliott, 63, and Deana Eckert, 57.
The city of Louisville was left in shock and mourning after the tragedy. A vigil was held to honor the victims and the family assistance center was set up for those impacted by the shooting.
Mayor Craig Greenberg, who himself narrowly survived a shooting at his campaign office only last year, said the city had been hit by an “evil act of targeted violence.”
“I’m a survivor of a workplace shooting,” he said. “To the people who survived, whether you were physically hurt or not, I know that you’re hurting, too.”
The shooting marked the nation’s 15th mass shooting so far this year in which four or more victims were killed and came two weeks after a former student killed six at Nashville Christian Elementary.