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Monday, May 29, 2023

5 dead in US bank shooting, gunman livestreams attack

Washington, April 11 (IANS) A gunman livestreamed a mass shooting at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky, which led to the deaths of five people, with eight others injured, authorities said.

The perpetrator, who was identified as Old National Bank employee Connor Sturgeon (25), was killed by the police after a shootout following the mass shooting on Monday, CNN quoted interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel as saying to reporters.

He used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle during the incident and was broadcasting the shooting online on Instagram.

“That’s tragic to know that that incident was out there and captured,” said Gwinn-Villaroel.

Sturgeon is described in an online profile as being a syndications associate and portfolio banker at Old National Bank. He had joined the company as a full-time employee last year after spending three summers as an intern there, the BBC reported.

According to reports, he had recently been told by the bank that he was going to be fired and had written a note describing his plans for the mass shooting before going to work on Monday.

Meanwhile, four of the victims who were killed on the spot, were identified as Joshua Barrick (40), Juliana Farmer (45), Tommy Elliott (63) and James Tutt (64). The fifth victim, Deana Eckert (57), died later on Monday evening.

Of the injured, a 26-year-old police officer Nickolas Wilt had graduated from the police academy just 10 days ago. He was shot in the head.

According to the police, the mass shooting began at the Old National Bank on East Main Street at about 8.30 a.m. on Monday morning, about 30 minutes before the bank opens to the public.

It happened during a morning employee meeting, with some appearing in person and others virtually, Rebecca Buchheit-Sims, a manager at the bank, told CNN.

Officers got to the bank within three minutes of being dispatched and found the shooter was still firing, Louisville Metro Police Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey told reporters.

Officers got into a shootout with the gunman, killing him, Gwinn-Villaroel said.

In a statement, Meta, which owns Instagram, said it had “quickly removed the livestream of this tragic incident this morning”.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said one of the five victims, Tommy Elliot, a senior vice-president at the bank, was an “incredible friend” of his, the BBC reported.

“Tommy Elliott helped me build my law career, helped me become governor, gave me advice on being a good dad,” said Beshear.

Mayor Craig Greenberg called the attack “an evil act of targeted violence” and thanked the “brave and heroic” first responders for their actions.

“Without a doubt their actions saved lives,” he said.

According to data by the Gun Violence Archive, there has been at least 146 mass shootings — defined as those in which at least four people were shot — so far in 2023, including at least 15 since April began.

President Joe Biden demanded Congress pass gun control measures as he tweeted on Monday: “Too many Americans are paying for the price of inaction with their lives.”

Kentucky is one of 26 states that allow most adults over 21 years old to purchase and carry a firearm without a licence.

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