The AR-15 used to kill five people and injure another eight people in the Louisville bank shooting on Monday won’t be destroyed. Instead, the gun will be auctioned off to a group of licensed dealers and will soon be back on the streets due to a Kentucky gun law that prevents law enforcement from destroying it.
Under the law, any confiscated firearms are to be auctioned off to the public, so long as they’re bought by federally-licensed gun dealers. The auction is hosted by the Kentucky State Police with 20% of the proceeds going toward the department and the rest going to the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.
The news comes just two days after 25-year-old Connor Sturgeon walked into Old National Bank in Downtown Louisville – a bank he had been working at for several years – and opened fire on his co-workers during an office meeting. He was shot down and killed by police while still inside the bank.
On Monday, not long after the shooting took place, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg voiced his concern and displeasure with this gun law. “The laws we have now are enabling violence and murder. Think about that: that murder weapon will be back on the streets one day,” he exclaimed in a press conference.
He urged decision makers to do what’s necessary to stop gun violence in Kentucky – which is one of the more laxed states in regards to gun laws. “It’s time to change this law and let us destroy illegal guns and destroy the guns that have been used to kill our friends and kill our neighbors,” Greenberg continued.
Greenberg shared a similar sentiment in September 2022 when he vowed to crack down on confiscated firearms in an effort to reduce gun violence in his city. His pledge came seven months after he was shot at in his campaign office in February 2022 – the gun used in that incident was eventually auctioned off.
“We’re spending millions of taxpayer dollars to take illegal guns off the streets, to remove guns from the hands of criminals, or people seeking to do harm, and then there is a process in place where these guns end up back on the streets in different people’s hands,” he said in Sept., before taking office in Jan. 2023.
Police Release Body Cam Footage of Louisville Bank Shooting
On Tuesday, the day after the Louisville bank shooting, the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) released bodycam footage of the moment the suspect was shot down. The video also shows two officers getting hit by the suspect’s bullets – one officer had minor injuries, but the other one is in critical condition.
Nickolas Wilt, a 26-year-old police officer who graduated from the LMPD Training Academy on March 31, was shot in the head as he ran towards the suspect to save lives. He was rushed to the hospital once the suspect was downed and immediately underwent brain surgery – he’s in critical, but stable condition.
The five fallen victims – all of whom were employees at Old National Bank and co-workers of Connor Sturgeon – were identified as Joshua Barrick, 40; Deana Eckert, 57; Thomas Elliott, 63; Juliana Farmer, 45; and James Tutt, 64. There were eight others, including the police officer, who were injured.
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While the suspect’s home was raided following the incident, the investigation is still underway and a motive has not been revealed – though it is known that the suspect was due to be fired from the bank soon. With gun violence at an all-time high in the United States, it’s clear something has to be done.
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