(Louisville Metro Department of Corrections via AP)
JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. (AP) — A white man with a history of violence fatally shot two African-American customers at a Kroger grocery store and was swiftly arrested as he tried to flee, authorities said Thursday.
The Courier Journal of Louisville reported that the suspect made a racial comment to a man he encountered on his way out.
The FBI announced that it “is evaluating the evidence to determine if there were any violations of federal law.”
An arrest report says Gregory Alan Bush walked into the store outside Louisville, pulled a gun from his waist and shot a man in the back of the head, then kept shooting him multiple times “as he was down on the floor.” The report says Bush then reholstered his gun, walked outside and killed a woman in the parking lot.
Bystander video shows a white man in a distinctive neon-yellow shirt trying to drive away while an officer chases after him on foot. Many more officers converged on the scene and made the arrest on Wednesday afternoon.
Bush, 51, was jailed on $5 million bond Thursday on two counts of murder and 10 counts of felony wanton endangerment.
Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers said in an initial news conference at the scene that “we have no idea” what motivated the shootings.
Ed Harrell was quoted by the Courier Journal as saying he was waiting on his wife in the parking lot when he heard gunshots and grabbed his revolver. As he crouched down, he said he saw the gunman walk “nonchalantly” by with a gun by his side. He said he called out to ask what was going on, and the gunman replied: “Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites.”
The local coroner’s office identified the victims as Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vicki Lee Jones, 67. Stallard is father of Kellie Watson, the chief racial equity officer for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
The mayor shared his outrage Thursday over what he called an “epidemic of gun violence” that “hit close to home.”
“Somehow, a few have become so beholden to politics that they place a higher value on that than on the lives of our fellow Americans,” said Fischer, a Democrat running for re-election.
“People getting shot at a grocery store, a school, outside a church. Can’t we all agree that that is unacceptable?” Fischer said at a news conference.
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