From the outside, Connor Sturgeon had it all.
He was a high school basketball star from a middle-class Indiana family starting his career in banking working his way up in the world of finance.
Yet on Monday the promising trajectory came crashing spectacularly down: Sturgeon, 25, took an AR-15 rifle into the bank in Louisville where he worked, and murdered five of his senior colleagues. Nine others were wounded, including two police officers – one of whom had only been with the force 10 days, and was shot in the head. Sturgeon also died inside Old National Bank.
‘I know everyone always says this about shooters,’ a high school friend said.
‘But I truly would have never expected it to be him.’
Connor Sturgeon (far right) is pictured with his parents Todd and Linda, and his younger brother Cameron, a professional model
Sturgeon is seen in his LinkedIn photo, where he lists his work climbing the financial ladder
How Sturgeon went from being a high school sporting champion and sensitive, emotionally-intelligent university student to mass murderer is now being investigated by police.
Key is the suicide letter which Sturgeon left for his family.
His mother Linda and his younger brother Cameron – a professional model, signed by Next Model Management, one of the world’s biggest agencies – rushed to the bank, arriving shortly after Sturgeon begun his attack.
The 25-year-old had apparently told them he had been fired, and was going to ‘shoot up’ his workplace.
Linda and Cameron Sturgeon approached police outside the bank, a police officer told the dispatcher on the scanner audio obtained by Heavy.
Connor Sturgeon, 25, is seen in action representing Floyd Central high school in Floyds Knobs, Indiana – 10 miles from downtown Louisville
The responding officers described a chaotic scene, with an ‘officer down right in front of the bank,’ and gunshots heard in the background.
But police will also want to understand in detail how his life unravelled in such devastating fashion.
Sturgeon’s parents Linda and Todd live in Greenville, Indiana: he went to high school in Floyd Knobs, 10 miles from downtown Louisville.
Todd Sturgeon’s roots in Indiana are deep: he studied at the liberal arts college DePauw University before becoming a history teacher, and coaching the University of Indianapolis basketball team for 15 years.
He left in 2007 after watching his son at a basketball camp, and realizing ‘maybe he’d rather have more time to spend with his own sons than other people’s.’
Todd Sturgeon went on to coach the Floyd Central basketball team – with his son Connor a star player.
Sturgeon was a 6ft 4′ sophomore at the high school when his father took the job. His younger brother was in middle school at the time.
He retired from coaching in April 2022, aged 57, at the end of a triumphant stint with the team.
Todd’s retirement was covered on local news, and said at the time he felt ‘the program would be in a better place if we got somebody new who’s excited, enthusiastic, pistols blazing, and ready to come in and take the program to another level, hopefully.’
Connor had certainly made his mark on Floyd Central – playing basketball, football and running track at school.
Sturgeon was a star of the track, as well as being a talented football player and basketballer
Sturgeon is seen with a track and field award in 2016
In 2015, he was named a National Merit Scholar.
He was popular and athletic, earning the nickname ‘Mr Floyd Central’.
Yet one friend suggested that everything was not as rosy as it seemed.
‘The big thing I keep going back to is that in the first year of high school, we played football together in eighth grade, he was out most of the year because he had multiple concussions,’ the friend told The Daily Beast.
‘Then he had a couple more in high school.
‘I’m not saying it’s the cause but I always think back to that.
‘There were times I’d wonder, will this catch up with him? But never in this way. He’s the last person I’d expect would do this.’
After graduating from Floyd Central in 2016, Sturgeon went to the University of Alabama and graduated in 2020, the university confirmed.
His friend said he went to the university ‘to live the SEC life’ – a reference to the Southeastern Conference sports leagues.
But he knuckled down to work – and began thinking deeply about his emotional state and mental health.
In a 2018 essay for the university, unearthed by The Daily Beast, Sturgeon wrote about his quest to improve his ‘discipline, responsibility, and self-esteem… so that I can improve myself as a whole.’
Sturgeon said he struggled to make friends – despite his friends seeing him as popular and a star athlete – but expressed optimism in his writings.
‘My self-esteem has long been a problem for me,’ he wrote.
‘As a late bloomer in middle and high school, I struggled to a certain extent to fit in, and this has given me a somewhat negative self-image that persists today.
‘Making friends has never been especially easy, so I have more experience than most in operating alone.
‘Furthermore, college has introduced a whole new atmosphere and new challenges, so it is easy to feel like I am not doing as well as I should be.
‘This semester, however, I think I have begun to mature socially and am beginning to see improvement in this area.
‘I have found that taking time out to take stock of how I feel and what I can do to feel better has helped me be more social and in turn feel better about myself.’
Sturgeon suffered multiple concussions, his high school friend said, and at times was unable to compete due to his head injuries
Around that time, a user on a Reddit forum who used the same name on social media as Sturgeon tried to support a struggling person.
The account believed to be Sturgeon replied to a thread in ‘r/ShowerThoughts’ about being severely depressed, writing: ‘Hey man I understand how rough it is, and how pointless life can seem. Just keep fighting. Keep grinding.
‘In sports and in life, I found that doing everything you can to help out those around you made me feel my best.
‘Cheer on your teammates, help out those closest to you, and keep am eye out for those you care about and everything will work itself out brother.’
He graduated with a masters in science and a major in finance in 2020.
Sturgeon’s LinkedIn said he completed three summer internships between 2018-2020, before starting work at Old National Bank as a syndications associate and portfolio banker.
He began working as a commercial development professional at the bank in June 2021 and moved into his most recent role in April 2022, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In 2022 he left his parents’ home in Greenville, Indiana and moved to Louisville.
‘I am certified in the RMA Lending Decision Process, hold a Master’s in Finance from the University of Alabama, and am on the Young Professionals board for Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana,’ he wrote on his profile.
He also hosted a basketball-focused podcast with two friends, The Daily Beast said, and tweeted about the NBA.
He also posted shows of support for the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, as well as criticism of police violence and of Donald Trump.
Sturgeon seemed to be involved in local community affairs.
Last year he wrote on LinkedIn about taking part in the Focus Louisville program.
‘Can’t thank the folks at Leadership Louisville enough for their work the past few days.
‘Focus was an eye-opening experience about many of the issues around Louisville and the people who are working to solve them.
‘One of the biggest takeaways was the volume of people who are working to have a positive impact, at places like Junior Achievement, Goodwill, and JCTC.
‘I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn, and for meeting so many great people as both speakers and classmates.’
Sturgeon at the time of Monday’s shooting was living in the Camp Taylor district of Louisville, with a male roommate.
The two-bedroom house was sold in April 2022 for $203,000: it was not known who bought the house.
Sturgeon worked at Old National Bank (pictured on Monday), but had been told he was being fired
Police are seen on the scene of Monday’s shooting in Louisville
A police officer stands outside the Sturgeon family home in Louisville
Neighbors said the pair were unassuming and did not cause problems.
‘Can’t say nothing really bad about the guy,’ said one neighbor, Kera Allgeier.
‘Very quiet, soft-spoken. They invited us over a couple of times for cookouts during summer, you know, very friendly. I just don’t understand.’
Allgeier’s husband Michael said that he saw Sturgeon coming into the house with his girlfriend, and agreed that Sturgeon seemed very ordinary.
He ‘seemed like a real normal dude – every day he’d wave to me,’ he told The Daily Beast.
‘And he would go his way, and I would go mine.
‘Quiet guy. You’d see him and his girlfriend carrying groceries into the house, just seemed like a regular dude.’
His girlfriend has not been named.
Officers were seen entering the home on Monday and leaving with what appeared to be a computer, and boxes of material.