Louisville Police: Shooter Used “Rifle”

April 10, 2023


Louisville police said Monday afternoon that the gunman in that morning’s mass shooting killed his victims with a rifle but did not confirm reports that it was an AR-15 style assault rifle. 

On Monday morning, a gunman shot and killed four people and wounded nine others, including two police officers, during a mass shooting at the Old National Bank building in downtown Louisville. The shooter was confirmed to be “dead on the scene,” according to police.

At a 3pm ET news conference, police identified the gunman, who was killed while engaging police, as 23-year-old Connor Sturgeon, who had been employed at the bank.

“His weapon of choice was a rifle,” said Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel of the Louisville Metro Police. She said she did not know where he got the rifle.

Though she did not specify what kind, a federal law enforcement source had earlier in the day told CNN that the gunman had used an AR-15 style rifle.

Police identified the four murdered victims as Joshua Barrick, age 40; Thomas Elliot, age 63; Juliana Farmer, age 45; and James Tutt, age 64.

Gwynn-Villareol went on to describe the conditions of the wounded, who were treated at Louisville University Hospital, “Three are in critical condition including our officer, three who are listed in non-critical condition and three who have been treated and released.”

She identified the wounded LMPD officer as 26-year-old Nicholas Wilt, who was struck in the head by a bullet. He had just graduated from the police academy. 

“I just swore him in,” said Gwynn-Villareol.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said that flags would fly at half staff through Friday.

After Monday’s shooting, President Biden released a statement saying, “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. Too many Americans are paying for the price of inaction with their lives. When will Republicans in Congress act to protect our communities?”

Biden had reiterated his past calls for Congress to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban following the school shooting last month in Nashville that killed three 9-year-olds and three adults.

Sales of AR-15s in the U.S. spiked soon after the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban ended in 2004.

The last time the Democrats attempted to push through the assault weapons ban legislation, there were not enough votes to pass it in Congress. That was July 2022 when Democrats had majorities in both the House and Senate.

From 1990 to 2020, the U.S. imported or manufactured over 24.4 million such weapons. In 2020 alone, the U.S. imported or manufactured 2.8 million of the rifles.

According to organization Everytown for Gun Safety, of all mass shooting incidents between 2009 and 2018, assault weapons accounted for 25% of deaths and 76% of nonfatal injuries. Currently, only seven states and Washington, DC prohibit assault weapons.

A Washington Post/Ipsos poll from March 27 found that one in 20 Americans owns at least one AR-15. A plurality of 33% said they owned the assault rifle for self defense or protection.

The Louisville shooting is the 145th mass shooting in the U.S. this year, as defined by four or more victims killed or wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive. In the roughly two weeks between the Louisville and Nashville killings, at least 15 other mass shootings occurred in the U.S. 

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.


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