(CNN) — A gunman opened fire at a bank in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, Monday morning, killing four people and sending nine to the hospital before he died by gunfire at the scene, Louisville Metro Police Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey said.
The “lone gunman” is believed to be a former employee of the bank, he said.
The mass shooting began at the Old National Bank on East Main Street at about 8:30 a.m. police said, about 30 minutes before the bank opens to the public.
Officers responded to the scene within three minutes of being dispatched and found the shooter still firing, he said. They exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who died at the scene, police said. It was unclear if the suspect was killed by an officer or died of a self-inflicted gunshot, Humphrey said.
Four people were found dead inside, and eight people are being treated at a local hospital, including two officers who were shot, he said. One of those officers is in critical condition.
The University of Louisville Hospital received nine patients following the shooting — two police officers and seven civilians, officials said. Three of them have been discharged from the hospital, a spokesperson said.
Mayor Craig Greenberg thanked the “brave and heroic” first responders for their actions. “Without a doubt their actions saved lives,” he said.
In the aftermath of the shooting, a large police presence blocked off much of the downtown street. Shattered glass was strewn at the entrance of the Old National Bank, video from CNN affiliate WDRB shows.
The shooting is just the latest spasm of mass gun violence, a uniquely American phenomenon. There have been at least 145 mass shootings in the US this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, which like CNN, defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.
Kentucky is a “permitless carry” state, meaning gun owners over 21 are legally allowed to carry concealed guns in public without a license.
The gun used in the shooting was an AR-15-style rifle, a federal law enforcement source told CNN. The AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle, is the most popular sporting rifle in the US, and about 24.6 million people have owned an AR-15 or similarly style rifle, according to the 2021 National Firearms Survey.
The AR-15 and its offshoots have been the weapon of choice in many of the most heinous mass shootings in recent memory, including in the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut; an Aurora, Colorado, theater; a San Bernardino, California, holiday party; and a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. In Nashville, just two weeks ago, a shooter used an AR-15 style weapon and two other guns in a mass shooting at a private Christian elementary school, killing three adults and three 9-year-olds.
Two law enforcement sources have said that the shooter at least at one time worked at the Old National Bank. The sources also corroborated the name of the suspected shooter, which CNN is not reporting at this time.
A LinkedIn page reflecting the same name sheds details on his employment history. He went to business school at the University of Alabama and worked at Old National Bank beginning in 2018 as an intern and later became a full-time employee.
Authorities are looking to understand his employment status at the time of the shooting and what led to the gunfire.
Witness says he saw people running
Caleb Goodlett got a call from his wife, who works at Old National Bank, he told CNN affiiliate WLKY. She told him there was an active shooter and she was locked in a vault inside the bank. Goodlett called 911 but officers were already aware of the shooting.
He described it as a traumatic phone call at 8:30 a.m., and said he has since talked to and seen his wife and that she is fine.
Hagan Curd was walking his dog on East Main Street on Monday morning when he began to see people running in his direction, he said. Several gunshots can be heard in video he took at the scene.
“I saw people running and then some others got out (of) their car and began to run as well,” Curd said. “Then I heard police yelling and telling people there was a shooter at the bank and to back away.”
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he has two close friends who “didn’t make it today” and another at the hospital “that I hope is going to make it through.” He said his state attorney general campaign was run out of that building.
“I know virtually everyone in it, that’s my bank,” he said.
The Old National Bank is dual-headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, and Chicago and has more than 250 banking centers across the Midwest. The bank’s executive team is headed to Louisville, the company said on Facebook.
“The safety of Old National Bank employees and everyone we serve in our banking center locations is paramount,” said Old National CEO Jim Ryan. “As we await more details, we are deploying employee assistance support and keeping everyone affected by this tragedy in our thoughts and prayers.”
Jason Smith, the operations manager at Against the Grain, a brewery near the bank, said he was arriving to work when he saw first responders reach the shooting scene.
“Although we didn’t need to shelter in place, it kind of took a few minutes to figure out what was going on and assess the situation,” he told CNN affiliate WDRB. “I mean, these are our neighbors, you know, so we’re here to support and take care of them. We’re thinking about them.”
The Louisville metro area, located along Kentucky’s border with Indiana, has a population of about 630,000 people as of the 2020 Census. The 300 block of East Main Street is bordered to the east by the minor league stadium Louisville Slugger Field and includes a dentist’s office, a furniture store and the Louisville Ballet.
President Joe Biden condemned the latest mass shooting and called on Republicans in Congress to take action on gun laws.
“Once again, our nation mourns after a senseless act of gun violence — Jill and I pray for the lives lost and impacted by today’s shooting. Too many Americans are paying for the price of inaction with their lives. When will Republicans in Congress act to protect our communities?” Biden said in a tweet.
™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.