Louisville hosts public vigil in honor of Old National Bank mass shooting victims
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - City leaders came together for a public community vigil to honor the victims of Monday’s mass shooting at Old National Bank in downtown Louisville.
The vigil was hosted Wednesday evening at the plaza of the Muhammad Ali Center, just several blocks from where the shooting occurred on Monday morning.
“This vigil will be to acknowledge the wounds, physical and emotional, that gun violence leaves behind,” Greenberg said.
A crowd of hundreds showed up to mourn the five killed in the shooting and to pray for eight others injured.
“We are feeling many emotions, shock, confusion, grief, despair, and yes, even anger,” LMPD Chaplain Dr. Teresa O’Bannon said in prayer. “And as we are in the aftermath of yet another senseless act of violence, this time in our own hometown, Lord we lead and depend on you.”
Those killed in the shooting were 63-year-old Tommy Elliott, 64-year-old Jim Tutt, 40-year-old Josh Barrick, 45-year-old Juliana Farmer and 57-year-old Deana Eckert.
“Whether you knew some of these wonderful people who were killed on Monday or not, we come together this evening to acknowledge that every violent death is tragic,” Greenberg said.
“You are one degree of separation from everybody in this town,” Ky. Congressman Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville) said. “We ask you what school you went to we all know we mean high school. The closeness makes this hold. It makes it hurt. And in the fog of our grief here together, the only comfort is that closeness will be the fabric we weave together to stay strong.”
Police confirmed six people, including the gunman, died in the shooting. A total of nine patients, including three Louisville police officers, were taken to the University of Louisville Hospital.
Officer Nickolas Wilt was listed in critical condition after he was shot in the head responding to the incident. He underwent brain surgery Monday afternoon and is still in critical condition as of Wednesday.
“We are also here to support the victims who survived,” Greenberg said. “Whose lives have been impacted by physical and mental wounds that will take time to heal.”
“Please don’t forget about them next week, don’t forget about them next month, and don’t forget about them next year,” anti-gun violence advocate Whitney Strong said. “They are going to need your support for the rest of their lives.”
Leaders also gave their thanks to law enforcement for their quick response and for the many doctors and nurses who are doing everything they can to keep survivors alive.
“Let’s give thanks to our heroes across the city,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “I lost one of my best friends on Monday. But I’ve got two friends and more that survived. Because LMPD got there in about three minutes. I want to thank you all.”
“On behalf of everyone at Old National, I also want to acknowledge and thank those who have come to the aid of the ONB family over the past couple of days,” Old National Bank CEO Jim Ryan said. “This includes the Louisville Metro Police Department and the brave and heroic officers who were at the scene in minutes. I also want to acknowledge the great work of the FBI. Secondly, I want to thank the entire Louisville medical community, especially those first responders and the staff at University of Louisville Health. You truly are heroes.”
Many speakers shared their frustration in a mass shooting hitting so close to home.
“I’m having a tough time finding words to console the victims, the survivors and the loved ones of this senseless act of violence,” UofL Health Dr. Muhammad Babar said. “Like you all, I’m really fatigued and frustrated on this nonstop vicious cycle of deadly shootings in our nation. Like you all, I’m dead tired of hosting hollow words and prayers on social media after each incident of a mass shooting.”
“As we come together as a city and as a country that has had enough of senseless gun violence,” Temple Shalom Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner said, “may all of us commit ourselves right here, right now, to double and re-double our efforts to use our voices, our voting power and our right to protest peacefully to join together as children of one God to take meaningful and necessary steps to ban assault weapons that were created only for battlefields.”
“Gun violence comes in many forms,” Ky. Senator Gerald Neal (D-Louisville) said. “I shut my eyes and ask myself, ‘Why haven’t we done more. Why haven’t we done more.’ This makes no sense.”
“As we continue to hear the language of grief and suffering as it yells at us right now, may we not give in to its deception that there is no hope and that there is nothing that we can do,” Louisville Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre said. “Let us hold on and hold on together and to the language of hope is born amongst us.”
The Office of Safe and Family Neighborhoods had grief counselors at 12 churches around the city Wednesday night for additional support.
UofL Hospital gave an update Wednesday afternoon, saying six patients have been discharged.
There are two patients still being treated, including Officer Wilt, who is still in critical condition. The other patient is in stable and fair condition, the hospital said.
For the list of Louisville churches with professional clinicians, click or tap here.
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