Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) became emotional at a press conference as he revealed two close friends were among those killed in Monday’s mass shooting.
“I have a very close friend that didn’t make it today,” Beshear told the media, holding back tears. “And I have another close friend who didn’t either, and one who’s at the hospital that I hope is gonna make it through.”
The shooting at Old National Bank in downtown Louisville left at least four people dead and several others injured. Two Louisville police officers were injured in the shooting, with one reportedly in critical condition.
Police say the shooter, a lone gunman, was a previous employee of the bank. He entered the bank carrying an AR-15 style weapon. According to deputy chief Paul Humphrey, officers responded to the scene within three minutes.
Mass shootings continue as calls for gun reform escalate
According to Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, the Louisville shooter reportedly texted a friend that he would “shoot up the bank”.
Kentucky, like twenty-nine other states in the nation, does not have a red flag law. Red flag laws allow courts to issue restraining orders with substantial evidence to temporarily remove guns from individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others.
Beshear, who supports red flag laws, urged the Republican-led state legislature to act and pass reforms after the Uvalde shooting last year.
The tragedy in Louisville comes just over a week after a shooting at Covenant Elementary school in Nashville left six dead. Three of those killed when a gunman shot their way into the building with an AR-15 were children.
Since the Covenant shooting, students across Tennessee have descended on the State Capitol to demand gun reform. For days, thousands of students, parents and teachers urged lawmakers to implement additional gun control previsions. The Republican supermajority in the state house instead expelled two Black legislators for peacefully protesting.
Kentucky Governor urges those affected by shooting to seek mental health support in the face of today’s trauma
“To everybody who needs it, don’t be afraid to get some help,” Governor Beshear said in Monday’s press conference.
“Our bodies and our minds are not meant to go through these types of tragedies. And so, I hope that all the brave officers who stepped into the line of fire will reach out to help when they need it.”
Today, Beshear called on Kentuckians to surround the families of those killed with love.
“If we have a place to focus our energy, I hope it is to surround them with the love and compassion we’ve been so good at showing one another,” the Governor said.