***Updated*** Louisville bank shooting leaves 5 dead, 8 wounded

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

***UPDATE***

At a 3 p.m. news conference, Louisville’s police chief released more details of Monday morning’s shooting at Old National Bank in downtown Louisville, including the names of the four victims as well as that of the suspect.

Advertisement

63-year-old Tommy Elliott, a senior vice president at the bank, was killed along with 64-year-old Jim Tutt, 57-year-old Juliana Farmer, and 40-year-old Josh Barrick. According to police, the suspect was a 23-year-old employee of the bank who used a rifle in his attack.

Nine victims were transported to University of Louisville hospital, with three in critical condition, another three non-critical, and three others treated and released.

Elliott was friends with both Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg and Gov. Andy Beshear, and the governor called him one of his closest friends during Monday afternoon’s press conference. While noting that there would be time to talk about issues in the coming days, Beshear said that today should be about showing love to the victims and their grieving family and friends.

“What we need most right now in a word is love. Love. Love for these families. They’re going to need it. They’re going to need that love, and we need love for each other. It seems like we argue so much in this country, so much anger,” said a visibly emotional Beshear. “I still believe that love, humanity, and compassion can lead us to a better place.”

I’m sure there’ll be plenty to disagree with Beshear about in the days ahead, but his remarks were exactly what should be said at a time like this, and I appreciate his desire to put the focus where it belongs, at least for a few hours.

Advertisement

***Original story below***

At least five people were killed and eight others wounded when a suspect opened fire inside a downtown Louisville, Kentucky bank on Monday morning before the suspect was killed during an exchange of gunfire with responding officers.

Authorities haven’t released much information about the suspect, other than to say that they believe the individual was a current or former bank employee. At least six people were transported to local hospitals with injuries, including two Louisville police officers. Louisville Metro Police Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey reported that two of those injured, including one officer, were in critical condition at last report, while the injuries to the other four individuals were described as non-life threatening.

Terrance Sullivan lives near the building where the shooting occurred and said he was walking home from the gym around 8:30 a.m. when he saw police cars speed the wrong way down Main Street.

About 20 officers got out, rifles raised, and ran into the bank building, he said.

Suddenly, he heard 10 to 15 shots fired and people screaming from within.

“It was a lot of activity for like 20 seconds,” Sullivan said. “… The sound is what I keep thinking about. It was so loud. People in my building who were inside could hear it. Being outside on the street as it happened – I’ve heard gunshots before, but not that many like that.”

Advertisement

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear spoke to reporters as well, detailing his personal connection with several of the victims.

“This is awful,” said Beshear. “I have a very close friend that didn’t make it today. And I have another close friend who didn’t either, and another who’s at the hospital who I hope is going to make it through.”

He said that the community needs to do what it always does in these situations and draw near to those hurt and affected by such tragedies.

Louisville’s mayor Craig Greenberg heralded the quick response by officers, who he said “without a doubt” saved lives. But rather than pointing the finger at the suspect, Greenberg signaled the Democratic response to the shooting by labeling it “another act of gun violence.”

A gun didn’t walk into the Old National Bank on its own volition this morning. It didn’t suddenly decide to point its barrel at innocent victims just starting their work week, nor did it choose to pull the trigger. There was a living, breathing, human being who consciously chose to carry out their murderous plot in a gun-free zone (at least according to Old National Bank’s company handbook, and blaming the gun instead of the individual for these heinous crimes minimizes who is truly responsible.

Advertisement

There’ll be much more information coming out in the hours and days ahead, and the political aftermath is likely to get pretty ugly, but for now I’ll join Gov. Beshear and Mayor Greenberg in asking for prayers for the victims and their families. The lives lost and the pain and grief from those left behind should not be forgotten, nor should their deaths be exploited to advance a political agenda.

 

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Advertisement