Connor Sturgeon: Louisville Shooter Was Star Athlete Who Wore Helmet at Basketball Matches after He Suffered Multiple Concussions

According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, people with CTE frequently exhibit poor thinking and memory and are also prone to violence, mood swings, sadness, and paranoia.

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The 23-year-old former bank analyst, who shot dead five of his colleagues and injured eight others at the Old National Bank in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, was a star athlete in school but wore a helmet at basketball games as he suffered multiple concussions. Connor Sturgeon was killed by police in Louisville after opening fire inside the Old National Bank on Monday.

Police identified Sturgeon as the gunman at the bank, who live streamed his rampage on Instagram before police shot him dead. He broke into the morning meeting with an AR-15 assault weapon and murdered five of his colleagues at 8:30 am before the bank's doors opened to the public.

Star Athlete with Suicidal Thoughts

Connor Sturgeon
Connor Sturgeon Twitter

Sturgeon's friends have claimed that he was a star athlete at high school but had his own set of problems. Sturgeon was an all-around athlete as a freshman at Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, where he played basketball, football, and track.

A former classmate told The Daily Beast that Sturgeon was referred to as "Mr. Floyd Central" since his father served as the team's head coach.

Connor Sturgeon
Connor Sturgeon Twitter

However, the friend, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Sturgeon, who had sustained multiple concussions while playing football, bizarrely wore a helmet while playing basketball.

"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."

Sturgeon was captured in a shot from his junior year on the Floyd Central High School basketball team wearing a helmet in a game where he contributed over half of the team's points.

The classmate claimed he was compelled to compare Sturgeon's high school wounds to other instances in which athletes who sustained concussions went on to hurt themselves or others.

Up until this year, Todd Sturgeon, his father, was Floyd Central's basketball coach in charge.

He had previously coached the men's basketball team at the University of Indianapolis for ten seasons, but he quit in 2007 after seeing his son play in a basketball camp and realizing that he might want to spend more time with his own sons than other people's.

Connor Sturgeon
Connor Sturgeon Twitter

"I know everyone always says this about shooters but I truly would have never expected it to be him," the friend said.

Sturgeon's brother is a professional model.

Troubled Past

In recent years, medical professionals have established multiple connections between football players and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive brain disorder brought on by repeated head trauma.

Connor Sturgeon

According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, people with CTE frequently exhibit poor thinking and memory and are also prone to violence, mood swings, sadness, and paranoia.

It was found that disgraced New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was found guilty of murder in 2015, had severe CTE after he committed suicide in prison in 2017.

Sturgeon won the 2016 News and Tribune Sports Performance Annual Award for Boys Track Athlete of the Year during his senior year.

Sturgeon attended the University of Alabama after finishing high school to pursue a degree in finance, which he will receive in 2020.

The Daily Beast unearthed an essay Sturgeon wrote for the institution in 2018 in which he discussed his efforts to increase his "discipline, responsibility, and self-esteem... so that I can improve myself as a whole."

Connor Sturgeon
Connor Sturgeon seen playing basketball wearing a helmet Twitter

Despite the fact that his friends believed that Sturgeon was a star athlete and popular, he claimed he had trouble making friends.

"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.

Connor Sturgeon
Connor Sturgeon with his parents Todd and Lisa and brother Cameron Twitter

"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."

While the Instagram account where he recorded the incident has been taken down, screenshots shared by local newspapers show Sturgeon appearing unsteady in the hours before the shooting.

Connor Sturgeon
Connor Sturgeon Twitter

His purported final posts included meme images with the words "I know what I have to do but I don't know if I have the strength to do it," and "I could burn this whole place down."

His last post allegedly read: "They won't listen to words or protests. Let's see if they hear this."

Officials are still investigating the case and are yet to determine a motive for the deadly shooting. Four of Sturgeon's victims were high-ranking bank employees from the Louisville location.

The five victims of Sturgeon were identified as Tommy Elliott, 63, and Joshua Barrick, 40, both senior vice presidents, as well as market executive Jim Tutt, 64, commercial loan specialist Juliana Farmer, 45, and executive administrative officer Deanna Eckert, 57.