Five people were killed when an employee of a bank in the American state of Kentucky opened fire on colleagues and customers on Monday. The shooter broadcast the attack live on social media from the bank in Louisville before he was shot and killed by police.
Eight people were wounded during the mass shooting – the largest such incident in the US this year – two of whom are currently in a critical condition. This includes a police officer who was shot in the head shortly after his arrival on the scene.
The shooter has since been identified as Connor Sturgeon, an employee of Old National Bank in downtown Louisville.
Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel, the city’s interim police chief, says police officers received an emergency call at around 08:40 on Monday and were on the scene within three minutes.
According to media reports, some people in the bank locked themselves in the bank’s vault during the shooting and called for help from the vault.
The 25-year-old Sturgeon fired shots at the police officers upon their arrival. The officers returned fire and Sturgeon was fatally wounded.
According to Gwinn-Villaroel, Sturgeon posted the attack live on Instagram.
A spokesperson for Meta, the social media platform’s parent company, told AFP in the meantime that it was “in contact with law enforcement and that the live broadcast of the tragic incident was quickly removed”.
The motive for the attack has not yet been confirmed.
However, a source close to the investigation told CNN that Sturgeon was reportedly notified shortly before the shooting that he had lost his job.
One of Sturgeon’s victims who died in the shooting was identified as Tommy Elliot (63) – a friend of the Louisville mayor and the Democratic governor of Kentucky.
“Tommy Elliott helped me build my legal career. He helped me become governor. He gave me advice on how to be a good father,” Gov. Andy Beshear said at a news conference.
The governor was visibly upset.
“He was an incredible friend.”
Gun violence has claimed more than 4,900 lives in the US this year alone.
Pres. Joe Biden once again expressed his frustration with these “senseless” murders.
“Too many Americans are paying with their lives for lack of action,” Biden said on Twitter.
“When will Republicans in Congress act to protect our communities?”
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