The latest on the Louisville mass shooting that left 6 dead and 9 wounded
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Another mass shooting in this country, this time at a bank in Louisville.
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
A gunman that authorities believe was or had been a bank employee opened fire on colleagues before police arrived and killed him. Nine people were taken to the hospital. Six people are dead, including the gunman. Several people remain hospitalized.
FADEL: We have Justin Hicks of Louisville Public Media with us to get the latest on this mass shooting. What do we know about what happened?
JUSTIN HICKS, BYLINE: Yeah, so we know it was just before 9 o'clock yesterday as most people were getting to work when a 25-year-old male that police ID'd as Connor Sturgeon entered Old National Bank. He was an employee there. And luckily the bank hadn't opened to customers yet. But he came in armed with a rifle and opened fire, livestreaming the entire thing on the internet. Police say they got a call about a shooter, arrived on the scene in just three minutes, and when they showed up, there was almost immediately a firefight in which the gunman was killed and two officers were shot, one of them in the head. That officer, 26-year-old Nickolas Wilt, had just gotten out of the police academy about two weeks ago, and he was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he had brain surgery. And those other two officers - there were two other officers who were also injured.
FADEL: Wow. So when they were able to clear the scene, what did they find?
HICKS: Yeah. So as police got into that crime scene, they found a really grim scene. Four victims were killed by the shooters, all employees of Old National Bank. Their names are Tommy Elliott, Jim Tutt, Joshua Barrick and Juliana Farmer. They all ranged in their age from 60s to 40. And in addition to those deceased, six other workers were taken to the hospital for a variety of injuries. One of them was the bank's executive administrative officer, Deana Eckert. She passed away last night, raising the death toll to five victims. Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel is the interim chief for Louisville Metro Police Department, and she credited those officers who showed up and acted immediately.
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JACQUELYN GWINN-VILLAROEL: For my LMPD officers who took it upon themselves to not wait to assess everything, but just went in to stop the threat so that more lives would not be lost, thank you.
HICKS: And in addition to being appreciative to those that responded, the police chief said these shootings just need to stop.
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GWINN-VILLAROEL: This should not continue to happen. Evil should not try to prevail and take over our city. And we let it happen.
FADEL: So many people must be grieving right now. How are people dealing with this across Louisville?
HICKS: Yeah, I mean, so, you know, as we know, this happens all over the country, but it's like you always hear. People are just stunned that it came to this city, right? Louisville is a city, but it's still the kind of place where people know each other from high school or church or whatever, and so many of the victims are not just names here. They are people that people know. And so to answer that more directly, though, there were several vigils last night across the city and even more planned in the coming days. For instance, last night, Cherie Vaughn was at a vigil. She used a sound system at a local church. And she talked to folks about the importance of everyone finding ways to pitch in during the healing process.
CHERIE VAUGHN: We shouldn't be sleeping easy because somebody's family doesn't have a loved one tonight. And it's not my family today, but it's somebody else's. And so my heart goes out to those families that lost loved ones.
FADEL: I think the most heartbreaking thing about what you're describing is just how familiar it is in this country now. It's the 146th mass shooting just this year. What should we expect next in the investigation?
HICKS: Yeah, we'll get the common questions about the shooter's motives and the weapons that were used. But, you know, the officials say they want to just focus on the people who were killed, the people still hospitalized and everyone who's traumatized, whether they were at the bank or not.
FADEL: Justin Hicks of Louisville Public Media. Thank you, Justin.
HICKS: Yeah, you're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.