Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear choked up during a press conference after a shooting at Old National Bank in downtown Louisville, Kentucky that left five people dead, including the shooter, and nine people wounded, including two officers.
The Democrat said he had “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”.
Mr Beshear added during a second press briefing later on Monday that he had received incorrect information earlier in the day and that one of his friends had survived.
“I'm grateful for an incredibly quick response,” he said. “From LMPD, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Louisville Fire and Rescue, Louisville Metro EMS, getting to this scene in three minutes. I'm convinced saved other people's lives and I know saved two other of my friends.”
“One I received incorrect information this morning I thought was gone. And I started to mourn and now I know he's okay. And one I got to see in the ER that while it's gonna take him a while to heal, it was so good to see my friend. See him there with his wife and know he is still with us,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, Mr Beshear said, “when we talk about praying, I hope people will for those that we are hoping can make it through the surgeries that they’re going through. And then we’ve got to do what we have done these last three years after everything – We’ve got to wrap our arms around these families and everybody who needs it”.
“I hope every one of those bank employees and folks in that building, one that I know well and my [attorney general] campaign was out of that building. Virtually everyone in it, that’s my bank. I hope that they will all reach out and get the help that they need,” the governor said.
The shooter died after exchanging gunfire with police at about 8.30am, Deputy Police Chief Paul Humphrey said on Monday.
Mr Humphrey said at an 11am press conference that at “approximately 8.30 this morning, Louisville MetroSafe received a report of shots fired and a possible active shooter at 333 East Main Street at the Old National Bank”.
“Within three minutes of being dispatched, officers arrived on scene and encountered the suspect almost immediately, still firing gun gunshots,” he said. “Officers exchanged gunshots with that suspect and ultimately the suspect did die at the scene.”
“At least two officers were shot during this exchange of gunfire,” Mr Humphrey said. “One is currently in surgery at University Louisville Hospital.”
“At least four more victims were confirmed to be deceased inside the location as well as eight that are now currently being treated at the University Hospital – two are critical, one of those being the officer,” the deputy chief said.
He added that the processing of the scene would continue “into the night”.
WKLY reported later that nine people had been taken to hospital and that three had been able to leave.
Mr Humphrey said there’s no “active threat” and that the shooter is believed to be a “lone gunman”, adding that he “did have a connection to the bank”.
Two unnamed officials also told NBC News that the shooting is being investigated as a workplace violence situation by an employee who suffered from mental health issues.
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