Louisville, Kentucky: Gunman kills four in bank shooting

Police in Louisville, Kentucky, have confirmed that a gunman and at least four people have died in a shooting at a bank in the city.

An additional eight people have been taken to local hospitals, including two police officers.

The suspect died after an exchange of gunfire with police officers at Old National Bank on Monday morning.

The man is believed to be a former employee of the bank, police said.

According to Louisville Police, officers were first alerted to an active shooter situation at about 08:30 local time (15:40 BST) and arrived within three minutes.

At the scene, they encountered the suspect “almost immediately” and were involved in an exchange of gunfire. It remains unclear whether the suspect was shot and killed by the officers or died at his own hand, according to Deputy Police Chief Paul Humphrey.

Two officers were wounded in the gun battle, one of whom is undergoing surgery and is in critical condition.

Mr Humphrey said that the actions of the officers “absolutely saved people’s lives”.

The incident took place in Louisville’s Old National Bank in the city’s downtown area. The location is close to the Louisville Slugger Field baseball stadium and several blocks from the Kentucky International Convention Centre and Muhammad Ali Centre.

The public has been asked to stay out of the area while the investigation continues.

News footage from the scene shows a heavy police presence, with damaged glass and discarded medical equipment at one location.

Kentucky governor: ‘I have a very close friend who didn’t make it today’

Speaking at a news conference, an emotional Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said he knew several of the victims. His campaign is based in the same building and he is a customer of Old National Bank.

“This is awful. I have a very close friend that didn’t make it today, and I have another close friend that didn’t either,” Mr Beshear said. He added that another friend was injured “that I hope is going to make it through”.

The city’s mayor, Craig Greenberg, also arrived in the area shortly after the shooting.

“We will come together as a community to work to prevent these horrific acts of gun violence from continuing here and around the state,” Greenberg said at the news conference.

Witnesses have begun recounting their experiences to local media.

“I was at the stoplight, and the first thing that I saw – there was a guy across the street at the intersection and he was lying down at the entrance to a hotel,” an eyewitness told local Fox affiliate WDRB.

Another witness, Caleb Goodlett, told local CBS affiliate WLKY-TV that he received a call from his wife who works at the bank. She told him that she was inside the vault and that there was a gunman inside the bank.

When he called 911, Mr Goodlett was told that police were already responding.

“Once again, our nation mourns after a senseless act of gun violence – Jill and I pray for the lives lost and impacted by today’s shooting,” President Joe Biden said in a tweet on Monday.

“Too many Americans are paying for the price of inaction with their lives,” he continued. “When will Republicans in Congress act to protect our communities?”

Democrats and Mr Biden have long pushed for Congress to push stricter gun safety legislation. These efforts face staunch opposition from most Republican lawmakers, who often represent constituents and communities that support expanded gun rights.

Data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive shows that there have 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.

Also on Monday morning, Louisville Police responded to a second shooting outside the Jefferson Community & Technical College, less than two miles (3.2km) away from the incident at Old National Bank.

At least one person was killed and one wounded, according to police. The suspects in that incident fled.

Mr Humphrey said that the police force has enough resources available to respond to and investigate both shootings.

SOurce: BBC


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