Law enforcement officials today released the name of the suspect — Gregory Allen Bush — and revealed he is in custody. Bush is suspected of killing a man inside a Kroger in Jeffersontown, Ky., and a woman in the parking lot of that store.
Police have not yet released a potential motive for the killings.
A bystander who had a tense standoff with Bush in the parking lot says the alleged gunman made a racial remark, a video taken after the shooting and local media reports show.
Ed Harrell was in the parking lot of the Kroger when the gunshots rang out. He grabbed his own revolver, he says, and crouched down next to his car. He then saw a man walking with a gun in his hand. He asked what was going on and the man, who is believed to be Bush, said he wouldn't shoot Harrell.
"Don’t shoot me," Harrell says the man told him. "I won't shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites."
The man then entered a vehicle and drove off.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that one of the victims was Maurice Stallard, who is the father of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's racial equity officer. It is unclear if Stallard's killing was targeted or random. Witnesses say Stallard, who is black, was shot in the back of the head. Police say the other victim of the shootings is Vickie Lee Jones, who is also black. Speculation spread quickly online that the shootings were racially motivated.
Security footage shows Bush attempting to enter the nearby predominantly black First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown shortly before his shooting rampage at Kroger.
Meanwhile, some signs indicate mental illness may have played a role in the killings.
The owner of a Facebook account under the name Gregory Bush in the Louisville area has made reference to suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. That account features a profile picture that highly resembles a photo of the suspect released by police.
"I have worked most of my life and battled mental illness throughout my life," the account's profile states. "My paranoid-schizophrenia finally stopped me from working and now am on mental disability. I'm lucky I made it this far with all the trouble I've caused myself when I get off my medicine. I'm lucky my parents are in good health as it took 2 years too finally get my disabilty (sic). maybe one day I can work again. I'm hoping for the best."
The account follows a number of conservative sites, pro-Trump and Blue Lives Matter pages as well as multiple sites about interracial dating, the movie Black Panther and other content specifically about people of color. Most of the posts on the page are about comic books, University of Kentucky football and movies.
A Twitter account also featuring the same photo very much like the photo released by police follows a similar pattern, though it does make reference to "trouble" the poster has gotten into on the site that may have led to a suspension.
Court records show Bush had at least two run-ins with the law prior to the shootings. In one 2009 incident, he choked his elderly parents in the home he shared with them. In 2009, Bush also punched a family court deputy trying to subdue him after Bush yelled obscenities at his ex-wife. He was listed as a suicide risk following the scuffle. Bush was charged with menacing for another incident in 2003 in which he came up behind a 15-year-old in a movie theater restroom and grabbed her by the waist.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the killings.
"FBI Louisville is evaluating the evidence to determine if there were any violations of federal law," Supervisory Special Agent Timothy Beam said in a statement.
The Jeffersontown Chief of Police is expected to release updates about the case tomorrow. Bush is being held on $5 million bond. His next court appearance is Nov. 5.