“We are so sorry. We are heartbroken. We wish we could undo it but we know we can’t.” This is the message two parents would like to give to the families of the victims killed in the Kentucky Bank Shooting on April 11.
Lisa and Todd Sturgeon are the parents of Connor Sturgeon. Connor was the man who opened fire at the Kentucky bank, killing Tommy Elliott, 63, as well as Joshua Barrick, 40, Deana Eckert, 57, Jim Tutt, 64, Juliana Farmer, 45, and injuring at least 8 others.
Parents of the Gunman Who Killed 5 Inside a Kentucky Bank Speak Out: ‘We are so sorry’
Now, Lisa and Todd have sat down with Today’s Savannah Guthrie to speak about their son’s horrific actions. But the decision to do so didn’t come without its fears.
“We have a concern about inadvertently being disrespectful to the families. Our heart is just shattered for them and what they are going through,” Todd explained. But rather than run away from what their son did, the parents opted to take responsibility for his actions.
“He did this to totally innocent individuals. There was no provocation, no justification, no rationalization at all. They were just trying to do their jobs, provide for their families, and they will never be the same due to his actions,” Lisa added.
When asked why they think their son committed such horrible crimes, Todd admits there is no way to know for sure. “We know that Connor was struggling with some mental health issues. I’m afraid that whatever we come up with as the cause still isn’t going to make sense.”
Lisa went on to admit that there was no clear tell Connor would act in this way and that’s exactly why she wanted to share their side of it all. She doesn’t want this happening to anyone else.
According to the parents, Connor began to struggle with his mental health just a year ago. He began suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and attempted to take his own life.
As a result, Connor began seeing a psychiatrist regularly and he was taking medication. From the outside looking in, Connor seemed to be doing well.
But on the Tuesday before the attack, Connor called his mom and admitted he had suffered another panic attack while at work. He told his mom he didn’t know the cause of the panic attack but that he thought taking some time off work would help.
Lisa agreed with her son and told him that he has her full support. The next day, they had lunch.
Guthrie asked if they believed Connor was suicidal at that time. “That is also inconceivable to me,” Lisa answered. “He was willing to talk to me. He had told us before he would never do such a thing like that to us.”
On Thursday, Lisa set up an additional appointment with Connor’s psychiatrist. “We thought he was coming out of the crisis.”
The last time Lisa and Todd saw Connor was on Easter Sunday. The day before the attack.
Lisa and Todd said their son was fine. He was interacting with people, helping people find the last of the hidden eggs during the egg hunt, and joking around. “He went home with a buddy and they’re watching the last round of the Masters, the night before,” Todd explained.
The parents had no clue that just five days earlier, Connor bought the weapon he would use to carry out the attack. Lisa said she learned about the gun when she received a call on the day of the shooting from her son’s roommate.
Connor told his roommate that he left some notes and that he wanted him to call Lisa and explain everything. “Unbelievable, there is no way this is happening, please stop him, please make sure nobody gets hurt. This cannot be happening. This is not him.”
Todd said after learning about reports of the shooting, “You go from praying for his life, to praying that this is unimaginable, that he just commit suicide and he doesn’t hurt anyone else.”
When asked if they believe Connor should have been able to buy the gun legally, both Todd and Lisa said “no.” In 40 minutes, despite being under the care of two mental health professionals, Connor was able to walk out of the store with the gun and the ammunition for only $600.
“Connor in his darkest hour needed us to be exceptional, not reasonable and we failed him,” Todd admitted while getting emotional. “We were not exceptional and I guess if we could send a message to people that when you are faced with this you may have to go exceptional means maybe it can help open their eyes to this.”
As Mamas Uncut previously reported, Lisa’s call to 911 on the day of the shooting has been shared with the public.
The audio file shared by multiple sources depicts a mother in panic, not knowing what to do in an impossible situation. She told the 911 operator, that she believed her son had a gun and that he was heading “toward the Old National…on Main Street here in Louisville.”
“This is his mother,” she confirmed. “I’m so sorry, I’m getting details secondhand.” When the 911 operator asked the woman why she believes her son would do this, she admits she doesn’t know.
“I don’t know what to do. I need your help,” she concedes before saying he’s “never hurt anyone. He’s a really good kid. Please don’t…”
The mother continued to admit that she didn’t know the details of her son’s plan but that his roommate called her “concerned.” “I’m sorry I don’t know what I’m doing.”
She then added that “they” as a family don’t own any guns but suggested his girlfriend may. “He’s not violent,” she says. “He’s never done anything.”
At the end of the call, the 911 dispatcher admits that she had already received other calls about a situation at the Old National Bank and told her not to go to the scene.
After releasing the audio to the public, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg supported authorities to do so by saying, “Transparency is important – even more so in times of crisis.”
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