A manager at Old National Bank witnessed her colleagues being murdered live on a Microsoft Teams session, as their Louisville office was attacked on Monday morning.
Rebecca Buchheit-Sims told CNN: ‘I witnessed people being murdered. I don’t know how else to say that.’
Another colleague, Troy Haste, was in the room when Connor Sturgeon, 25, opened fire.
Haste survived, but was spattered in his colleagues’ blood as he left the bank.
It later emerged that Haste and Sturgeon were already acquaintances, having been pictured together in September at what appeared to be a building site where Old National staff could volunteer.
Rebecca Buchheit-Sims was on a Microsoft Teams meeting on Monday morning when Connor Sturgeon burst in and opened fire, killing five of her colleagues
Connor Sturgeon, left, is seen with Troy Haste, right, in September 2022
‘He just started firing,’ said Troy Haste, an Old National Bank employee
‘We have a break room. I got in there, shut the door for a second, and then I was looking around opening the door to see where he was at, and I could see him still shooting,’ Haste said
‘He just started firing,’ said Haste.
‘I didn’t see his face. We were in the conference room.
‘Whoever was next to me got shot, their blood’s on me.’
Connor Sturgeon, 25, has been identified as the shooter at the Old National Bank on Monday
Haste said he too witnessed the massacre unfold. Five people were killed, and nine wounded.
‘He just started shooting. He had a long assault rifle,’ said Haste, still shaking.
‘We have a break room,’ Haste explained.
‘I got in there, shut the door for a second, and then I was looking around opening the door to see where he was at, and I could see him still shooting.’
The Old National Bank employee also said the whole situation unfolded on the first floor of the building, as the group was in a meeting.
Another man with Haste said he thought the shooting was construction.
But another person told him: ‘Run, there’s a shooter in there.’
Buchheit-Sims said her meeting had already started when Sturgeon entered the room.
‘I’m just as much in shock and disbelief and was in disbelief as I watched it unravel,’ she said, adding it ‘happened very quickly.’
Buchheit-Sims did not work with Sturgeon, but knew him because his father was her son’s high school basketball coach.
Her husband was an assistant coach.
She described Sturgeon as someone with ‘just kind of a monotone personality.’
‘His temperament is pretty low-key. I’ve never seen the kid get angry or upset about anything in public. He was pretty much just relaxed,’ she said.
She said she did not know about any threats or issues, but said Sturgeon was ‘extremely intelligent.’
He live-streamed the massacre, and left a note to his parents saying he was going to carry out the attack following his firing from the bank, it has been revealed.
Sturgeon was an employee of the bank, but had recently been told he was being fired
Sturgeon is pictured here right with his father, Todd, mother, Lisa, and his younger brother Cameron
The shooting took place at Old National Bank in downtown Louisville shortly after 8.30am Monday
Sturgeon stormed Old National Bank shortly after 8.30am Monday – around half an hour before the downtown branch opened to the public.
The victims were Thomas Elliott, 63, a close friend of the governor of Kentucky, and four other bank employees: Joshua Barrick, 40, Juliana Farmer, 45, James Tutt, 64, and 57-year-old Deana Eckert.
Sturgeon carried out the attack with an AR-15-style assault rifle after earlier making a series of ominous Instagram post, including one that said: ‘They won’t listen to words or protests. Let’s see if they hear this.’
He was shot dead by police after wounding nine other victims – among them two police officers, one of whom had only been on the job for 10 days.
Rookie police officer Nickolas Wilt, 26, was also shot in the head and remains in critical condition. He started work on March 31.
Interim Police Chief Jackie Gwinn-Villaroel said: ‘The next few days are important and very critical for Nickolas’s recovery.’
She said he had come out of brain surgery at University of Louisville Hospital.
Mayor Craig Greenberg said he handed Wilt his police academy graduation diploma less than two weeks ago.
‘Our city and so many from around the nation are praying for Officer Wilt’s strength and healing,’ Greenberg tweeted. ‘His heroic actions exemplify the best of law enforcement.’
The second injured officer has not been named.
Three victims have since been discharged from hospital.
During the shooting it was reportedly overheard on police scanners that Sturgeon was ‘suicidal and texted a friend that he would ‘shoot up the bank.’
Officer Nickolas Wilt, 26, was shot in the head and is in critical condition. He has come out of brain surgery, the interim police chief said on Monday evening
Blood was seen on the steps outside the Old National Bank in Louisville on Monday morning
Thomas Elliott, 63, one of Governor Andy Beshear’s ‘closest’ friends, died Monday morning in the mass shooting at Old National Bank in Louisville, Kentucky
Joshua Barrick, 40, a vice president of commercial real estate at the bank, was also killed by the lone gunman, as was Juliana Farmer (right)
Deana Eckert, 57, an executive administrative officer at the bank, was declared dead on Monday evening
Sturgeon grew up in Indiana, and served on the Floyd Central High School basketball team
The mass shooting was America’s 146th in 2023 – more than the number of days this year – and came just weeks after the school shooting in Nashville, three hours drive from Louisville.
Joe Biden later blamed Republicans for failing to crack down on the epidemic of gun violence.
‘How many more Americans must die before Republicans in Congress will act to protect our communities?’ said Biden.
‘It’s long past time that we require safe storage of firearms. Require background checks for all gun sales. Eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.
‘We can and must do these things now.’
Sturgeon had a middle-class upbringing in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, where at 6ft4ins, he was a star basketball player at Floyd Central High School.
His father Todd served as a coach and resigned from the school in 2022, stating he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Friends said they would ‘never have expected’ Sturgeon capable of carrying out such an attack.
Another suggested that a series of concussions that he suffered in his school sporting career may have contributed to his mindset.
The 25-year-old attended the University of Alabama before attending the Manderson Graduate School of Business at the same college.
He had been worker for Old National Bank as a Syndications Associate and Portfolio Banker since July last year, according to his LinkedIn profile.