Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said on Monday he has two ‘close friends’ among the five people who died in a shooting at the Old National Bank in Louisville.
‘I have a close friend that didn’t make it,’ he said between tears. ‘And I have another that didn’t either.’
A third friend, he said, is among at least nine people injured when a shooter — believed to be a ‘disgruntled employee’ — opened fire during a conference at the bank at around 8.30am.
The governor held his attorney general campaign out of the office building, and said he knows ‘virtually everyone in it.’
Bank employees have told how they tried to hide inside a vault after spotting a man with an AR-15 style assault rifle entering the building, which also houses a real estate firm and other businesses.
In the end, four bankers were killed, along with the gunman. It remains unclear whether the suspect died by officers’ gunfire or from a self-inflicted wound.
The University of Louisville has also announced that it treated nine patients, including two officers and seven civilians. Three patients have now been released.
Authorities are still encouraging the public to stay away from the 300 block of East Main Street in the downtown area of the city — located just hours from Nashville, where a gunman recently opened fire at a Christian school and killed six people.
People are pictured embracing following the mass shooting at the Old National Bank
Blood was seen on the steps outside the Old National Bank in Louisville on Monday morning
In another tragic morning for America, here are the most significant developments from the latest mass shooting:
Louisville Metro police said they arrived on the scene within three minutes of the gunman opening fire, and found him still spraying bullets when they arrived.
Videos of the shooting posted online showed officers at the scene running out into the street during rush hour traffic on Monday and warning drivers to get out of the car because there is an ‘active shooter.’
At least three gunshots could be heard in the footage.
One bank employee later told WHAS that they saw a man with a ‘long assault rifle’ fire multiple shots near the conference room.
‘He just started firing,’ the unnamed employee said. ‘I didn’t see his face. We were in the conference room.
‘Whoever was next to me got shot, their blood’s on me,’ he added.
Another witness said they heard multiple gunshots as well as breaking glass coming from the bank after she dropped her son off at his job.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news conference that one of his ‘good friends’ was a victim of the shooting
Pictures from the scene show smashed glass at the Old National Bank following the shooting
ATF officers were seen with a stretcher outside the Old National Bank on Monday
Two people are pictured embracing outside the Old National Bank in Louisville
Investigators from the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are pictured responding to the scene of the shooting
Police were deployed to the scene of the mass shooting in downtown Louisville on Monday morning
Louisville metro Police stand outside of the Old National Bank building as the investigation continues
Authorities say there is no ongoing threat to the public, but are urging people to avoid the area as the investigation continues
‘I had just dropped my son off at work on River Road,’ an unnamed witness told WDRB. ‘I was at the stop light, and the first thing that I saw — there was a guy across the street of the intersection and he was lying down at the entrance to a hotel.’
At first, she said, she thought the man was just out for a jog — but then she noticed he was on the steps and not the sidewalk.
That is when she said she heard gunfire, with video from the scene showing at least three shots were fired.
‘As I was siting at that intersection, gunfire erupted, like, right over my head,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know if it was going at the bank or out of the bank, I took off.’
‘When I turned, I saw that one of the windows in the bank had been blown out.’
She then said she saw police vehicles pull up to the area.
‘They were coming from everywhere,’ she said. ‘The police were coming out of their cars with black rifles.’
‘I just ducked in my car and waited there.’
The Old National Bank remained roped off following the shooting on Monday
Ambulances and police cars were seen outside the Louisville Slugger Field following the shooting
Police in Louisville, Kentucky are responding to an active shooter outside the Old National Bank
Meanwhile, Tammy Madigan, who works for a commercial real estate company on the fifth floor of the building said she and her co-workers decided to hide in the bathroom.
She said there were about six people in the office when one of her colleagues arrived and said they saw somebody walk into the building with guns.
Her colleague then called his coworker on another floor and warned everyone not to leave, while Madigan and her coworkers called 911 and locked all the doors.
‘But before the police got there, we started hearing shooting,’ Madigan told the Daily Beast.
‘The bathrooms on our floor have keycode entry, so it was probably the safest place we could think of to hide,’ she continued. ‘So the six of us went into the men’s room, turned off all the sound on our phones, tried to be as quiet as possible.’
After about five minutes, Madigan said she heard voices saying they were police.
‘But we didn’t know if it was really the police or the shooter trying to get us to come out,’ she said.
Once the officers were able to convince Madigan and her colleagues they were real, she said, officers evacuated them from the premises.
‘When the elevator door opened, the shooter was just laying there, dead,’ she said. ‘There was lots of glass all over.
‘One of the girls in my office was just breaking down,’ Madigan continued. ‘One of the guys was pushing the button to close the door, so the police let us go out through the basement, and then took us over to Slugger Field, where they began taking statements from everybody in the building.
‘I bet there were 100 cops there,’ she said.
Photograph of the Old National Bank in downtown Louisville – where police have reported an active shooter incident
At least a dozen police cars and three ambulances responded to the area in the aftermath, according to witnesses on social media, and stretchers were seen being rolled onto some ambulances as blood and glass were seen scattered around the ground.
The FBI and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms officers are also on the scene as an investigation continues.
President Joe Biden is now urging Congress to pass gun control measures.
‘Once again, our nation mourns after a senseless act of gun violence — Jill and I pray for the lives lost and impacted by today’s shooting,’ he said in a statement.
‘Too many Americans are paying for the price of inaction with their lives,’ the president continued. ‘When will Republicans in Congress act to protect our communities?’
Old National Bank is an American regional bank with nearly 200 retail branches operated by Old National Bancorp and based in Chicago, Illinois and Evansville, Indiana.
In a statement CEO Jim Ryan said: ‘The safety of Old National Bank employees and everyone we serve in our banking center locations is paramount.
‘As we await more details, we are deploying employee assistance support and keeping everyone affected by this tragedy in our thoughts and prayers.’
Anyone with information is asked to call 574 – LMPD.