A horrific and reportedly racially motivated shooting at a Kroger grocery store outside Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday (Oct. 24) ended with the deaths of two African Americans. The victims’ families are now left grief-stricken after the suspected white gunman opened fire in a rampage.
The victims — identified as Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vicki Lee Jones, 67, by the local coroner’s officer — suffered multiple fatal gunshot wounds.
Gregory Alan Bush, a man with a violent history who has possible ties to white supremacists, shot Stallard in the back of his head before firing more shots while he laid on the ground, authorities said. He then killed Jones in the store’s parking lot. Bush was arrested at the scene and jailed on two counts of murder as well as 10 counts of felony wanton endangerment, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Bush prompted suspicion about being a white supremacist after another white man, who brandished his own gun after the shooting in the store’s parking lot, reportedly said Bush yelled “Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites.”
Details are still coming in about Bush and the victims. Reports identified Stallard as the father of Kellie Watson, the chief racial equity officer for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. It’s unclear whether Bush knew about Stallard’s connection to Mayor Fischer, who spoke out about the shooting horror.
“People getting shot at a grocery store, a school, outside a church. Can’t we all agree that that is unacceptable?” Fischer said at a news conference. “There are ways to make our country safer and still respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners. This idea that it’s all or nothing is a false choice. And Americans are dying every day because of it.”
The shooting tragedy, which prompted Fischer’s comments about an “epidemic of gun violence,” was a “shock” to many in the Kentucky community and Jones’ nephew.
“We just have to cope now,” Kevin Gunn said about the shooting death of his aunt to the Louisville Courier-Journal.