The family of the Louisiana mass shooter Connor Sturgeon who shot dead five colleagues on Monday morning at Old National Bank broke their silence and revealed in a statement that their son had been struggling with mental health issues. However, they also said that they never saw any warning signs that he would commit mass murder.
Sturgeon entered the Kentucky bank where he was employed on Monday at around 8:30 a.m. He was seen carrying a legally-purchased AR-15 in his hand with which he opened fire and murdered five coworkers and injured nine others before being shot dead by the responding officers.
Grieving Parents Break Silence
Sturgeon's family expressed "sorrow, anguish and horror" as they reflected on the "unthinkable harm" he inflicted on innocent people.
"While Connor, like many of his contemporaries, had mental health challenges which we, as a family, were actively addressing, there were never any warning signs or indications he was capable of this shocking act," the family of Sturgeon said in a statement to WDRB News.
"While we have many unanswered questions, we will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials and do all we can to aid everyone in understanding why and how this happened."
The quick response of the Louisville Metro Police Department to the massacre was shown in footage of the incident that was made public on Tuesday during a news conference.
The swift operation was filled in by audio between a dispatcher and officers that was released on Broadcastify.
According to DailyMail.com, Sturgeon had been living in a one-story home with his close friend, who said he was unaware that his roommate was planning an attack. Sturgeon's roommate, Dallas Whalen, 24, has been cooperating with the police, according to his attorney.
"It was as unknown and surprising to Dallas as everybody," his lawyer said.
The lawyer claimed that Sturgeon sent his family a short "I love you" message moments before opening fire.
Whalen has maintained a low profile since the incident. His father went to the house Monday night to remove some of his son's belongings and also to help a young woman who was presumably living there.
The murder weapon, according to authorities, was "legally purchased from an arms dealer in Louisville on April 4," the DailyMail.com reported.
Whalen's lawyer, who also represents the Sturgeon family, said that Whalen was not aware of the purchase and had no prior knowledge of Connor's intentions or plans. The lawyer said that Whalen does not wish to make a formal statement at this time.
Family, Friends Still Can't Believe
Sturgeon's parents said they also regretted the deaths of the five other people he killed in addition to mourning the loss of their own son. They also applauded the officers for their bravery.
"No words can express our sorrow, anguish, and horror at the unthinkable harm our son Connor inflicted on innocent people, their families, and the entire Louisville community," his family said. "We mourn their loss and that of our son, Connor. We pray for everyone traumatized by his senseless acts of violence and are deeply grateful for the bravery and heroism of the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department."
According to reports, Sturgeon was about to be fired from his job as an associate and portfolio banker at the bank. He was hired on a full-time basis after completing three straight internships starting in 2018.
Around 8:30 a.m., he stormed the bank and started shooting with an AR-15 assault-style rifle he had just bought, all the while live-streaming the carnage on social media. Sturgeon injured eight people while killing five employees, including a personal friend of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.
Two of the officers were wounded in the firefight with Sturgeon. Nickolas Wilt, a 26-year-old rookie police officer, was shot in the head on the bank's steps. He had brain surgery, and his condition is critical but stable. Wilt had graduated from the police academy a little more than a week before the shooting.
Cory Galloway, the other officer, had a shoulder graze.
The two officers were the first to reach the shooting scene just two minutes after the report was received. The shot that killed Sturgeon was fired by Galloway. The tragic altercation's bodycam footage was made available Tuesday by Louisville police.