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Grocery Store Shooting Leaves 2 Dead in Kentucky, Many More in Shock
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Photo: Steve Skinner

Grocery Store Shooting Leaves 2 Dead in Kentucky, Many More in Shock

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LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY — October 26, 2018

Two people are dead and a suspect is in custody after a shooting inside a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, on the outskirts of Louisville, on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

As the police managed to find out, the suspect had previously been accused of repeated violence against his parents. The suspect, identified as 51-year-old Gregory Alan Bush, was quickly discovered a few hours after the crime.

Authorities say the gunman entered the store and opened fire on one man, then exited to the parking lot where he gunned down one woman, local media reports. Both the man and the woman died at the scene.

The shooter then exchanged gunfire with a civilian in the parking lot, though neither were injured.

Police dispatchers received the initial report of shots fired around 2:54 p.m. local time, with reports of "multiple injuries," adding that emergency responders were on the scene.

Now Bush has been charged with murder and other crimes and is being held on $5 million bond.

The parents of 51-year-old Gregory Bush told police in January 2009 that Bush punched his 78-year-old father in the face and grabbed his 74-year-old mother by the neck "and picked her up off the ground." Bush’s father suffered a possible broken jaw in the attack.

The court report says Bush also repeatedly unplugged the phone so they couldn't call the police and that he fled the home with a handgun. Police wrote in their report that Bush's parents are "terrified of (his) unpredictable behavior."

As for the incident in the store, Bush fatally shot two African-American and fled, making a racial comment to a man he encountered on the way out, reports the Courier-Journal of Louisville.

The FBI announced that it "is evaluating the evidence to determine if there were any violations of federal law."

An arrest report says Bush walked into the store outside Louisville, pulled a gun from his waist and shot a man in the back of the head, then continued to shoot multiple times "as he was down on the floor." The report says Bush then reholstered his gun, walked outside, and killed a woman in the parking lot.

When two others tried to approach the armed man, he opened fire on them, but by a fluke did not hurt anyone.

The victims were Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vicki Lee Jones, 67. Stallard is the father of Kellie Watson, the chief racial equity officer for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

According to the witness, a white man was in a distinctive neon-yellow shirt trying to drive away while an officer chased after him on foot. Many more officers converged on the scene and made the arrest.

Bush was jailed on $5 million bail on Thursday on two counts of murder and 10 counts of felony wanton endangerment.

Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers said in an initial news conference at the scene that "[they] have no idea" what motivated the shootings.

The Governor shared his outrage Thursday over what he called an "epidemic of gun violence" that "hit close to home."

"Somehow, a few have become so beholden to politics that they place a higher value on that than on the lives of our fellow Americans," said Fischer, a Democrat running for re-election.

"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.

Bush's criminal record shows he threatened his ex-wife and punched a deputy sheriff during a family court hearing years ago.

An arrest record from May 2009 says when deputies tried to subdue Bush, he fought off attempts to handcuff him and he punched a deputy twice. He was charged with several counts, including assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. Bush also was marked as a "suicide risk" on the arrest sheet, which noted that his ex-wife had a protective order against him.

In a 2003 incident, Bush was charged with menacing for following a 15-year-old into a movie theater bathroom and putting his hands around her waist. Bush told the girl he "thought we were family" and the girl pushed him away, according to the arrest record.

Eyewitnesses of the incident said that the man was as if out of himself, had a strange gait, and shouted something and demanded to call the police. Then he opened fire, said a customer who was there at the time of the incident.

Bush's attack on the customers caused chaos at the Kroger.

Eric Deacon, who identified himself as an emergency medical technician, told the Associated Press that he was in the store's self-checkout lane when he heard the first shot, in the pharmacy area.

He said a man came around the corner and "the look on his face, he looked like he just didn't care."

Deacon said he saw another man in the store with a gun who appeared to be shooting at the suspect. Then Deacon went outside and saw a woman in her mid-50s or early 60s who had been hit, and tried to resuscitate her.

"She was gone, there's nothing I could do," Deacon said. "I think she just got caught in the crossfire."

Fischer said he's "just sick and heartbroken and quite angry."

Louisville has created violence-prevention programs, and has more to do, he said.

"But at the city level, there's only so much that we can do. Because the hard fact is, that most violent crimes are committed with guns. And guns fall under the jurisdiction of the state and federal governments. And every time someone takes a gun and creates a tragedy, what's the response from too many of our leaders? The ones that have the power to make our country safer? ... They act as if nothing can be done. That doesn't sound like the United States of America to me."

A nephew of the woman killed in the shooting described her as a "warm and giving" person with two sons and multiple grandchildren.

Keith Gunn was quoted by the Courier-Journal of Louisville on Thursday as saying that Vicki Lee Jones was retired from her job as an office administrator at the Veterans Affairs hospital.

Gunn says it is hard to accept his aunt's death "because she was one of the sweetest people you could know" with a "warm and giving" heart.

Jones was one of two people fatally shot at a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, on Wednesday.

Kroger company said in an official statement that the company is cooperating with the police investigation and that the store will be closed until the investigation is over.

"We are shocked and saddened by the shooting incident that occurred around 2:30 pm today," the statement said. "Thanks to the quick response of the local police department, the suspect was apprehended and our store is secure."

Author: USA Really