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Louisville authorities release police body camera footage from the shooting

Police tape surrounds the Old National Bank after a gunman opened fire on April 10, 2023 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Michael Swensen
Getty Images
Police tape surrounds the Old National Bank after a gunman opened fire on April 10, 2023 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Updated April 11, 2023 at 6:33 PM ET

The gunman who killed five people and injured eight others during a shooting in downtown Louisville on Monday fired upon police as they arrived, excerpts of police body camera video released Tuesday show.

Earlier in the day, authorities confirmed that the gunman had bought the AR-15 style rifle used in the attack legally.

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 said the 25-year-old was an active employee of the bank at the time of the shooting.

Responding officers were ambushed, body camera footage shows

Officers Nickolas Wilt and Cory Galloway were the first to arrive on the scene. Wilt was driving, and Galloway, his training officer, was riding in the passenger seat.

Excerpts shown to media from Wilt's body camera show the pair arriving at Old National Bank in the police car. When they park near the front door, the shooter opens fire on them, and Galloway yells to Wilt to reverse, which he does.

The officers park further back and exit the car. Galloway gets his rifle from the trunk.

The footage picks up on Galloway's body camera as the two officers ascend the stairs toward the bank's lobby. When they reach the top, the suspect fires on the two officers again, striking both.

Wilt is shot in the head and falls to the ground. Galloway rolls away and takes cover behind stairs.

Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey said the shooter was waiting for officers to arrive behind two sets of doors in the building's lobby, where he could see out but officers couldn't see in. The shooter also had an elevated position, since the building is several steps above street level, Humphrey said.

Once backup arrives, Galloway tells the other officers that he can't see the shooter but that they need to rescue Wilt.

"The shooter has an angle on that officer. We need to get up there," Galloway says. "I don't know where he's at. The glass is blocking him."

The shooter then breaks glass in the lobby and continues to fire. Galloway moves up the stairs and fires several times into the lobby.

"I think I got him down," he says. "I think he's down."

The footage then shows Galloway moving toward the bank's front doors and telling other officers to rescue Wilt. Humphrey said officers drove Wilt to the hospital in the back of a police cruiser.

Galloway's video ends as he enters the lobby, which is riddled with broken glass.

Humphrey praised the police officers, firefighters and EMS workers who responded to the active scene and especially commended Wilt and Galloway for continuing to push toward the suspect after they had been shot at.

"For people to react by staying there, staying in the fire, and going back inside the scene, keeping themselves in danger, that's superhuman," he said.

Humphrey also expressed his condolences to the victims of the shooting. "As a profession, we're here to save people. And even though we saved lives that day, there are people that lost theirs. We need to honor and respect them."

No other civilians were shot after police arrived, and officers who worked to clear the building after the shooter had been killed also rendered medical aid to some of the victims, he added.

Three victims remain hospitalized, including Wilt

As of Tuesday afternoon, three victims were still being treated at the University of Louisville Hospital, two of whom were in stable condition.

The third patient was Wilt, who remained in critical condition.

According to LMPD Lt. Col. Aaron Crowell, about nine minutes elapsed between the start of the shooting and when officers "neutralized" Sturgeon.

Crowell said emergency services received the first call about three minutes after the shooter opened fire, officers arrived on the scene about three minutes after that and police shot and killed Sturgeon three minutes later.

The shooting renewed calls for action to combat gun violence

At an earlier 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 style 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.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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[Copyright 2024 NPR]
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