UPDATE: At least five people died in the attack. Deana Eckert, 57, reportedly died Monday evening (April 10).
As details emerge from the shooting at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky, Baptist leaders asked for prayer for the victims’ families and for those injured on Monday (April 10).
“Obviously, it breaks our heart,” said Todd Robertson, associational mission strategist for the Louisville Regional Baptist Association. “We saw the violence in Nashville and we’re broken for the terrible nature of that, and now we’re seeing it here in our own hometown.”
The Louisville Metro Police Department confirmed a shooter killed four people and injured nine others at Old National Bank in downtown Louisville. The shooter has been identified by police as 23-year-old Connor Sturgeon. The victims were identified as Joshua Barrick, 40; Thomas Elliott, 63; Juliana Farmer, 45; James Tutt, 64.
According to a release by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the fatalities — Thomas Elliot — is the son-in-law of former SBTS president Roy Honeycutt.
At least one of the injured, a police officer, was in critical condition. The violence in Louisville occurred exactly two weeks after a shooter killed three children and three adults at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee.
Grief and loss
Albert Mohler, SBTS president, requested prayer for the families impacted by the shooting and “for our entire community, with so many families bearing an unspeakable burden of grief and loss today.”
Louisville police also responded to a second shooting Monday near the city’s Jefferson Community and Technical College. The shooting resulted in one fatality.
As more information is released, the association will help any churches that are connected to victims and support any congregations that step in as part of the response.
“Our role as the association would be to stand next to and beneath our churches and lift up the work that they do,” Robertson said.
“What we’re encouraging our churches to do is [to see] this is a sign of the brokenness in our community,” Robertson said. “And we want to pray that our churches, that people — Christ-followers, will lean into the brokenness, and not act out of fear and pull away.
“We as Jesus people need to step into that brokenness and bring the love of Christ with us,” he said. “I don’t know what all the answers are, but I know that if we’re not there, it’s not going to get any better. That’s what we’re praying.”