Five people were killed at a Louisville bank on Monday morning (10 April) by an employee armed with a rifle who livestreamed the attack on Instagram, authorities have said.
The gunman was killed by police - who arrived as shots were still being fired inside Old National Bank - after an exchange of gunfire, Louisville Metro Police Department chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said. Craig Greenberg, the mayor of the city, called the attack "an evil act of targeted violence."
It comes just two weeks after a former student at a Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, murdered three children and three adults there. It is the US' 15th mass killing this year.
In Louisville, the chief identified the gunman as 25-year-old Connor Sturgeon. Here is everything you need to know about him.
Police arrived as shots were still being fired inside Old National Bank and killed the gunman in an exchange of gunfire, Gwinn-Villaroel said. “The suspect shot at officers,” the police chief added. “We then returned fire and stopped that threat.”
Nine people, including two police officers, were treated for injuries from the Louisville shooting, University of Louisville Hospital spokeswoman Heather Fountaine said in an email. One of the wounded, identified as 57-year-old Deana Eckert, later died, police said on Monday night.
One of the wounded officers, 26-year-old Nickolas Wilt, graduated from the police academy on March 31. He was in critical condition after being shot in the head and having surgery, the police chief said. At least three patients had been discharged.
Emotional Kentucky governor Andy Beshear said he lost friends, including one of his closest friends, Tommy Elliott, in the shooting in the building on East Main Street not far from the Louisville Slugger Field and Waterfront Park.
“This is awful,” he said. “I have a very close friend who didn’t make it today. And I have another close friend who didn’t, either. And one who’s at the hospital that I hope is going to make it through.” Also killed in the shooting were Josh Barrick, Jim Tutt and Juliana Farmer, police said.
“These are irreplaceable, amazing individuals that a terrible act of violence tore from all of us,” the governor said. It is the second time that Beshear has been personally touched by a mass tragedy since becoming governor.
Who is Connor Sturgeon?
Beshear spoke as the investigation in Louisville continued and police searched for a motive. Crime scene investigators could be seen marking and photographing numerous bullet holes in the windows near the bank’s front door.
As part of the investigation, police descended on the neighbourhood where the suspect lived, about five miles south of the downtown shooting. The street was blocked as federal and local officers talked to residents.
The attacker has been described as an Old National Bank syndications associate and portfolio banker in an online LinkedIn profile. After working there as an intern for three summers, he had started working there full-time last year.
He had no prior interactions with law enforcement, according to officials. Local media claimed Sturgeon wrote a statement outlining his plans for the mass shooting before reporting to work on Monday after receiving recent word that he would be fired.
Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, said in a statement that it had “quickly removed the livestream of this tragic incident this morning”. Social media companies have imposed tougher rules over the past few years to prohibit violent and extremist content.
They have set up systems to remove posts and streams that violate those restrictions, but shocking material like the Louisville shooting continues to slip through the cracks.