A man who walked into a Louisville, Ky., area Kroger supermarket Wednesday afternoon and opened fire on unsuspecting shoppers, killing two people, reportedly told a man outside that he didn’t have to worry about being shot because “whites don’t shoot whites.”
Gregory Alan Bush, a 51-year-old white man, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and 10 counts of felony wanton endangerment, according to Wave 3 News. He reportedly walked into the supermarket in Jeffersontown—a suburb of Louisville—and fired multiple shots at one man before walking outside and firing more shots at a woman in the parking lot. Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers confirmed that both victims died at the scene.
Bush was arraigned Thursday and is being held in custody on a $5 million bond. He will be back in court on Nov. 5 for a preliminary hearing.
The victims of the shooting have been identified as 69-year-old Maurice Stallard and 67-year-old Vicki Lee Jones, both of whom are black.
The motives for the shooting remain unclear and it is unknown whether or not Bush knew either of his victims before shooting them.
According to his arrest report, Bush entered the store, pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot Stallard—who was shopping with his grandson at the time—in the back of the head. Then as Stallard lay on the ground, Bush shot him again multiple times. He then reholstered his weapon and walked outside the store to the parking lot where he drew the pistol again and shot Jones multiple times, causing her death.
After shooting Jones, Bush encountered a civilian with a concealed carry license (CCDW) who also had a pistol. Bush began firing at the civilian indiscriminately throughout the parking lot before fleeing in his own vehicle. He was apprehended a short time later by Jeffersontown police.
Ed Harrell, who was waiting in the parking lot for his wife, Elaine, to come out of the store, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that when he saw Bush exit the store with a gun in his hand, he pulled his own revolver, crouched beside his car and asked Bush what was going on.
“Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites,” Bush told him.
That story was repeated by Harrell’s son, Steve Zinninger, in an on-camera interview with WAVE 3 News reporter Maira Ansari.
Kroger issued a statement via Twitter in response to the shooting late Wednesday afternoon.
“We are shocked and saddened by the shooting incident that occurred around 2:30 p.m. ET today,” the company wrote. “Thanks to the quick response of the local police department, the suspect was apprehended and our store is secure. We are cooperating with law enforcement and assisting with their investigation. Our store is closed and will reopen after the investigation concludes. We are referring all other questions to local law enforcement.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also released a statement in the aftermath of the shooting.
“My staff and I are closely monitoring the situation at the Kroger in Jeffersontown,” McConnell said. “As we continue to learn more about the events that took place, Elaine and I ask the entire Louisville community to join us in praying for the victims and their families. We would like to thank the brave men and women of law enforcement who responded with professionalism and secured the scene.”
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement: “I am heartbroken by this shameful and horrifying incident, and I am angry about the tragedy that results from people with guns who have no respect for human life. Over the coming days, we will learn more about what happened today. For now, I grieve with the families of the victims. I ask everyone in our community to keep them in your prayers and commit to taking action against senseless gun violence.”
May the victims’ families get the justice they deserve for this senseless, and quite possibly racist, crime.