UPDATE: Jeffersontown Police Chief says Kroger shooting was a hate crime

UPDATE: Jeffersontown Police Chief says Kroger shooting was a hate crime
Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers speaks at the First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown on Sunday morning (Source: Mike Fussell/ WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Less than one week after two people were killed at the Kroger in Jeffersontown, the police chief says the shooting was a hate crime.

Jeffersontown Police responded Wednesday when 69-year-old Maurice Stallard and 67-year-old Vickie Lee Jones were shot and killed at the Kroger on Taylorsville Road.

The alleged shooter, Gregory Bush, was taken into custody shortly after he fled the scene.

A man who was at the scene of the shooting told WAVE 3 News that moments after the Bush allegedly killed two black victims, he told a white bystander that “whites don’t kill whites.”

“The sentiments that were expressed to a witness by Mr. Bush, the suspect in this crime, are not indicative of this community," Rogers said Sunday. "They’re not indicative of the Jeffersontown Police. I wanted to call it what it was, and that’s racism in action.”

In a news conference the day after the shooting, police revealed that Bush attempted to go to the predominantly African-American First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown Wednesday, but failed, before going to the Kroger where he gunned down Stallard and Jones. Rogers spoke at that church Sunday morning.

During his remarks, Rogers spoke about the Kroger shooting, as well as the Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre which happened on Saturday, calling them both hate crimes.

“It’s the elephant in the room that some don’t want to acknowledge in this case, and that doesn’t get acknowledged many times in other similar tragedies that have occurred elsewhere," Rogers said. “The horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh yesterday, where the shooter made anti-Semitic statements, as he gunned down 11 innocent people. The shooting here last Wednesday that took the lives of two wonderful people from our community way too early, where the shooter made a statement to a witness to the effect of ‘whites don’t kill whites'. Those are fact, they happened. These two most recent examples of hate crimes, were carried out by evil people, that base their beliefs and actions on ideas and ideals that are contrary to the good of the American people.”

Rogers said the investigation is ongoing. They anticipate turning a case over to the grand jury some time this week.

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