A new mass shooting rocked the US on Monday as a 23-year-old bank employee armed with a rifle shot dead five colleagues and wounded nine other people at his workplace in Louisville.
The gunman live-streamed the attack on social media, police said. He was fatally shot at the scene, Louisville police said.
The police identified the shooter as Connor Sturgeon, who joined the downtown branch of the Old National Bank as a full-time employee last year.
CNN, citing confidential law enforcement sources, said he had been notified that he would be fired.
The victims were aged between 40 and 64. Among nine others injured was a rookie police officer who had graduated to the force just two weeks ago.
The shooting took place at the Old National Bank in the city center. Witnesses described seeing the shootout between police officers and the lone attacker.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said an “incredible friend” of his, Tommy Elliot, a senior vice-president at the bank, was among the victims.
Mass shooting gunman had no prior contact with Louisville police
Sturgeon was an intern at the bank for three summers from 2018 to 2020 before becoming a full-time employee in 2022 as a portfolio banker, according to his LinkedIn profile page. He had no prior contact with Louisville police, the police chief said.
“This was a targeted act of evil violence” Craig Greenberg, the mayor of Louisville, a city of 625,000, told reporters at the briefing. Greenberg said he was also friends with Elliot, who had worked on the mayoral transition campaign.
Instagram’s owner Meta said it had “quickly removed the livestream of this tragic incident this morning”.
Reuters reports that this is not the first time that a gun rampage has been live-streamed by an attacker. The gunman who killed 10 people in a racially motivated shooting at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store in May 2022 had live-streamed his attack, as had the attacker who killed 51 people in the May 2019 at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Mass shootings have become commonplace in the United States, which has experienced 146 so far in 2023, the most at this point in the year since 2016. Those statistics use the definition of four or more shot or killed, not including the shooter – according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.
In one of the most recent high-profile incidents, three 9-year-old students and three staff members were killed at a school in Nashville, Tennessee, by a former student on March 27.