Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. You can also reach a crisis counselor by messaging the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
The Louisville Metro Police Department has released dramatic bodycam video of officers responding to the Monday bank shooting where five people were killed and an officer fatally shot the gunman.
The bodycam video shows the tense moments between police officers and the shooter, Connor Sturgeon. It begins with video from Officer Nickolas Wilt who drives up to the scene with his training officer, identified as Cory “CJ” Galloway.
Wilt, police say, was shot in the head as he ran toward the gunshots police were facing as they arrived. He is listed in critical condition. Wilt’s camera shows him following Galloway up the outside steps to the bank, his service pistol in his two hands. The video cuts off before he is shot.
Bodycam footage from Galloway, who was also shot, shows him taking fire, then retreating to a safe position behind a planter as officers talk about how they can’t see the gunman and that he is shooting through windows in the front of the bank.
“Shooter has an angle on that officer!” one officer can be heard saying. “We got to get up there!” he adds.
Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey said the gunman broke out glass from the lobby windows and when he fired, officers – who could finally pinpoint his location – shot back.
As he looks into the bank lobby, Galloway’s camera audio sounds out with several shots.
“Suspect down, get the officer!!” one officer yells as he moves up the stairs and into the bank to investigate further.
Humphrey lauded the actions of the officers.
“Officer Wilt was a brand new officer, he had no experience. He was going based on two things: his training and his character. And you will see that he never hesitates – even after getting shot at,” Humphrey said at a news conference where nine minutes of video was released.
When the shooting was over, officers and teams from other agencies reentered the bank with supplies and started providing medical treatment right away, Humphrey told reporters.
After talking to medical staff, Humphrey said it is “100% certainty” that those swift actions saved lives.
“The actions that they took to follow up after being shot at themselves, to be compassionate and provide medical treatment, absolutely saved lives that day,” Humphrey said
Officers took Wilt to the hospital in a patrol vehicle, officials said.
Shooter recently purchased his rifle
The shooter legally bought an AR-15-style rifle at a local gun dealership six days before he used it to kill five of his colleagues, the interim Louisville Metro Police chief said Tuesday.
Currently, “Kentucky imposes no waiting period between the time of purchase and the physical transfer of a firearm,” according to the Giffords Law Center. By comparison, some states have waiting periods of 7 to 10 days.
It’s still not clear what provoked Sturgeon, a 25-year-old employee, to go on a deadly rampage at Old National Bank and livestream the gruesome attack on Instagram.
Sturgeon had interned at the bank for three summers and been employed there full-time for about two years, his LinkedIn profile showed. A law enforcement source told CNN on Monday that the assailant had been notified that he was going to be fired from the bank. But Louisville’s mayor and police chief have since said otherwise, with interim Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel telling CNN’s Abby Phillip on Wednesday that that there “was no discussion about this individual being terminated” before the massacre.
Now, investigators are combing through the footage and other evidence to try to understand what led to the massacre that also left several wounded – including a police officer who was shot in the head.
Officials executed a search warrant at Sturgeon’s home, but Gwinn-Villaroel declined to say what was found.
The carnage marked the 146th mass shooting this year with four or more victims, not including a gunman, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
And the AR-15 and its offshoots have been the weapon of choice in many of the most horrific mass shootings in recent memory, including the Covenant school shooting in Nashville just two weeks ago that’s reignited a fierce political fight over gun control.
What the livestream video shows
It took just one minute for a gunman to complete his deadly rampage before he stopped and waited for police to arrive, according to footage of the massacre described by a city official to CNN.
The video begins by showing an AR-15-style weapon, followed by a worker in the bank saying good morning to the gunman, the official said.
“You need to get out of here,” the shooter is heard saying to the woman on the livestream, which has been taken down by Instagram’s parent company Meta.
The gunman then tries to shoot her in the back but can’t because the safety is on and the weapon still needs to be loaded, the official said. Once the shooter loads the weapon properly and takes the safety off, he shoots the worker in the back, the official said. Her condition is not known.
The assailant then continues his rampage, firing at workers while they tried to outrun him, the official said. The shooter does not go to other populated floors of the bank, the official said.
Once the shooter is done firing, he sits down in the lobby area that looks out onto East Main Street, apparently waiting for police, the official said.
The killer waits about a minute and a half before police arrive – a swift response praised by local leaders – and a gunfight ensues, the official said. The gunman was struck and killed.
The entire incident – from when the gunman started shooting to when he was killed – lasted about nine minutes, Louisville Police Lt. Col. Aaron Cromwell said.
After the first bullets flew, “There’s a few minutes after that before we get the first call on it. Three minutes after that when we respond to the scene,” Cromwell said Tuesday. “And then about three minutes after we respond, the subject is neutralized.”
At one point, a Louisville police dispatcher alerted officers: “25-year-old White male, Connor Sturgeon 6 4’. He’s texted a friend, called a friend, left a voicemail saying he’s gonna kill everyone at the bank. Feeling suicidal,” according to Broadcastify audio. The timing of the dispatch wasn’t immediately clear.
A manager ‘witnessed people being murdered’ during a meeting
The massacre started around 8:30 a.m., about 30 minutes before the bank opens to the public.
Staff members were holding their morning meeting in a conference room when the gunman opened fire, bank manager Rebecca Buchheit-Sims told CNN.
She said the massacre “happened very quickly.” Buchheit-Sims attended the staff meeting virtually and watched in horror as gunfire exploded on her computer screen.
“I witnessed people being murdered,” she told CNN. “I don’t know how else to say that.”
Four victims died shortly after the shooting: Joshua Barrick, 40; Juliana Farmer, 45; Tommy Elliott, 63; and James Tutt, 64, police said. A fifth victim, Deana Eckert, 57, died later Monday.
Of the nine patients hospitalized shortly after the shooting, four have been discharged and one has died. One still in the hospital is in critical condition, and the other three are in stable and fair condition, a University of Louisville Hospital spokesperson said Tuesday.
‘I can’t even say how much this doesn’t make sense’
Before Monday’s massacre, the gunman had not had “any prior engagement” with police, the interim chief said.
Sturgeon graduated in December 2020 from the University of Alabama, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in finance, according to a university spokesperson.
After three consecutive summers interning at Old National Bank, he was hired as a Commercial Development Professional in June 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile.
One of Sturgeon’s former high school classmates who knew the shooter and his family well said the horrific news Monday came as a “total shock.”
“I can’t believe it,” said the former classmate, who asked not to be identified and has not spoken with Sturgeon in recent years. “I can’t even say how much this doesn’t make sense.”
Victim was an ‘incredible friend’ and mentor
One of the slain victims, bank senior vice president Tommy Elliott, was remembered by local and state leaders as a close mentor and beloved community leader.
“Tommy was a great man. He cared about finding good people and putting them in positions to do great things. He embraced me when I was very young and interested in politics,” said Yates, the state senator. “He was about lifting people up, building them up.”
Elliott was also close friends with the governor and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg, who said he spent Monday morning at the hospital with Elliott’s wife.
“It is painful, painful for all of the families I know,” Greenberg said. “It just hits home in a unique way when you know one of the victims so well.”
Beshear remembered Elliott as an “incredible friend” and called the other slain victims “amazing people” who will be mourned by their loved ones.
The city is setting up a family assistance center in collaboration with the American Red Cross to provide support for those impacted, the mayor said.
“To the survivors and the families, our entire city is here to wrap our arms around you,” Greenberg said.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled Tommy Elliott’s last name. It has also been updated with new information from authorities about the gunman’s employment status.
CNN’s Bill Kirkos, Artemis Moshtaghian, Celina Tebor, Caroll Alvarado, Kristina Sgueglia, Julian Cummings, Carolyn Cremen, Michelle Krupa, Sara Smart and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.