The hero rookie cop who tried to stop the Louisville bank shooter and in the process was shot in the head had joined the police force just 10 days ago. Officer Nickolas Wilt, 26, remains in critical condition at a nearby hospital after confronting gunman Connor Sturgeon, 25, to protect defenseless Old National Bank workers on Monday.
Wilt was one of two officers who rushed the scene around 8.30 am when Sturgeon opened fire killing five people and injuring eight more. The shooter also died. The rookie cop was shot in the head while his colleague suffered minor injuries after a bullet grazed him. It is unclear where the second officer was shot.
According to the Louisville Metro Police Department, Wilt had graduated from the police academy just over a week ago. After being shot, Wilt was transported to a nearby University of Louisville Hospital where he underwent brain surgery.
However, he is still in a critical but stable condition.
Wilt had just received his diploma from the police academy on March 31 and was in his second week of employment, according to Villaroel.
"I just swore him in," the chief said at a press conference.
"One of the worst moments in a police chief's tenure [is] to hear that any of your officers have been injured," she added. "It rots my world to have anyone injured and losing their life."
Wilt was seen smiling in a photo from his graduation ceremony with Louisville Major Craig Greenberg and acting police chief Jacquelyn "Jackie" Gwinn-Villaroel.
A LinkedIn profile that matches Wilt's name and location states that he graduated from Oldham County High School in 2016. Wilt had been a member of the force since October 2022, which was roughly the time he would have begun the 24-week police school course.
He has held positions with the La Grange Fire Department, Henry County EMS, Oldham County EMS, Oldham dispatch, and the La Grange Fire Department throughout his lengthy career.
A quote at the top of the LinkedIn page reads: "The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit."
Shot on Duty
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.
Sturgeon carried out the attack with an AR-15-style assault rifle after making a series of menacing Instagram posts. One of the posts, which have now been taken down, read: "They won't listen to words or protests. Let's see if they hear this."
He was "neutralized" by cops after wounding nine other victims.
It was apparently overheard on police scanners that Sturgeon was "suicidal" and had texted a friend that he would "shoot up the bank" during the shooting.
Authorities verified to CNN that Sturgeon had received word that he would be fired from his job and that he had written a note to his parents threatening to attack the bank.
On his LinkedIn profile, Sturgeon describes himself as he/him. He described his profile as Syndications Associate and Portfolio Banker for Old National Bank. It further states that he joined the bank following the completion of ONB Commercial Banking Development Training Program in April 2022.
Prior to the shootout, Sturgeon texted a friend saying he was feeling suicidal and "would shoot up the bank."