Individuals who were visiting or working in Louisville on the morning of April 10th knew little about why the police and paramedics were speeding down E. Main Street in the direction of Old National Bank in the downtown area. However, it wasn’t long thereafter that the reason for those first responders’ sense of urgency to get to the bank became clear. A 25-year-old employee, Connor Sturgeon, had entered the bank 30 minutes before its opening and immediately turned a gun on his colleagues. In the end, five co-workers were dead; eight were left with injuries. Among the victims were two police officers. Police shot and killed the assailant. Now the victims plan to sue the gunmaker, Radical Firearms, for damages.
The Assailant’s Life Preceding the Old National Bank Shooting
As is often the case with workplace violence or mass shooting situations, the shooter didn’t just “snap” that fateful morning. Law enforcement officers charged with investigating the “whys” that might have led up to the incident have discovered that within the year before the shooting, the assailant had:
- Been undergoing therapy and had expressed that he was suicidal
- Recently been placed on a new drug by his psychiatrist that his parents feared enhanced his suicidality
- Abruptly turned and walked into the ocean while on a family beach trip, planning to drown himself
- Been increasingly experiencing anxiety attacks while at work
- Became less productive at work
- Seemed to act like “he was in over his head” at work, as a colleague-mentor suggested
- Experienced an uptick in absenteeism, which came in the form of increased “no call, no show” days
Despite displaying all these red flags or indicators of an internal “unraveling,” Sturgeon was able to buy a rifle on April 4th, less than a week before the workplace shooting, without having to pass through any criteria to do so. Two days later, on April 6th, the would-be assailant met with his parents and psychiatrist virtually for an appointment, and the impression the doctor gave at the end of the session was that Sturgeon was improving.
In a matter of days, Sturgeon brought an automatic rifle (AR) into his workplace and began spraying bullets everywhere using the gas-powered 30-magazine weapon. His colleagues and victims pleaded for their lives after being shot, whereas others died in an instant.
Theories About Why Gun Violence Occurs
This mass shooting is one of many that have garnered our country’s attention. It’s left lawmakers, law enforcement agencies, and victims alike wondering what they can do to curb these all-too-common acts of violence. Some believe the following have led to an uptick in gun violence:
- The ease with which individuals can procure firearms
- Marketing efforts aimed at appealing to young men by “sexualizing,” “masculinizing,” or “militarizing” assault rifles
- “Second Amendment sanctuary” laws like the one that went into effect in Kentucky days before the bank shooting (which lowered barriers to gun ownership)
- The non-existence of “red flag” laws in Kentucky, which would have potentially prevented the assailant from buying a gun, even after initially passing the federal FBI records search
- The fact that gun owners seldom have historically been held accountable for the actions of gun users
Holding Firearms Manufacturers Accountable for Mass Shootings
The victims who were shot at the bank that fateful day have undergone countless surgeries to restore some semblance of functionality that the bullets that penetrated their bodies took away from them. Others survived but had their lives forever changed. Some struggle with continued mobility issues, and others are left with traumatic brain injuries. Then there’s the emotional trauma associated with what the victims endured. For some, it’s hard to imagine it going away.
And then, there are the families who lost their loved ones tragically due to a preventable act of workplace violence. Some of those families lost their primary breadwinner, a dad, a mom, a child, or a friend way too soon.
At this point, injury victims, including the surviving loved ones of the deceased, are preparing to file lawsuits against the Texas gunmaker who produced the AR-15 that left them hurt or dead, Radical Firearms. This is a similar legal strategy that victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut pursued following that incident in 2012 that allowed them to secure a $73 million settlement against firearms manufacturer Remington.
Our own Tad Thomas, along with a Chicago area law firm, have partnered to represent shooting victims in their pursuit of some semblance of justice in this case, which they expect to be an out-of-court financial recovery. Tad and his team of experienced attorneys at Thomas Law Offices have a long history of representing plaintiffs hurt or killed due to the negligence of others. We offer free consultations if you would like to discuss your personal injury or wrongful death case.