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The gunman who killed five people and injured eight others during a shooting in downtown Louisville on Monday bought the AR-15 rifle used in the attack legally, authorities said Tuesday.
Connor Sturgeon purchased the weapon from a Louisville dealer on April 4 — six days before the attack — according to Louisville Metro Police Department Interim Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel.
Authorities also confirmed that the 25-year-old was an active employee of the bank at the time of the shooting.
As of Tuesday midday, four victims were still being treated at the University of Louisville Hospital, three of whom were in stable condition.
The fourth patient was Officer Nickolas Wilt, one of the responding police officers who was shot in the head Monday morning when police exchanged gunfire with the shooter. Wilt remained in critical condition.
Authorities also said they would soon release body camera footage from the shooting.
The shooting renewed calls for action to combat gun violence
At the Tuesday news conference, several officials made emotional pleas to state and federal legislators to do more to combat the kind of deadly gun violence that unfolded in Louisville on Monday.
“I am a person of faith. I was raised in the church. We’ve raised our kids in the church. Please, if you are a person of faith, and you want to give us your thoughts and your prayers, we want them and we need them,” said Rep. Morgan McGarvey, D-Ky.
“But we need policies in place that will keep this from happening again, so that thoughts and prayers do not have to be offered to yet another community ripped apart by the savage violence coming from guns,” he added.
Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg called the level of gun violence “beyond horrific” and said 40 people had already been shot to death in Louisville this year. “It’s beyond anything we can and will accept in our community,” he said.
Greenberg called on lawmakers at the state Capitol in Frankfort as well as members of Congress in Washington, D.C., to do more.
He also criticized a Kentucky law that he said would allow the AR-15 rifle used in Monday’s shooting to be auctioned off.
When asked what it was like for hospital staff to deal with the influx of patients from the shooting, University of Louisville Health chief medical officer Jason Smith said it wasn’t uncommon for the emergency room to see that many gunshot victims in one day.
“To be honest with you, we barely had to adjust our operating room schedule to be able to do this,” he said. “That’s how frequent we are having to deal with gun violence in our community.”
Smith said he was “weary” after seeing victims of gun violence at the hospital for all of his 15 years there, and that it can be a drain on the medical professionals who have to tell families that their loved ones have died.
“It just breaks your heart. When you hear someone screaming ‘mommy’ or ‘daddy,’ it just becomes too hard day in and day out to be able to do that,” he said.
“I don’t know what the answers are. But to everyone who helps make policy — at state, city, federal — I would simply ask you to do something. Because doing nothing, which is what we’ve been doing, is not working.”
Russell Lewis contributed reporting.