JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. (AP) — A white man with a history of violence fatally shot two African-American customers at a Kroger grocery store and was swiftly arrested as he tried to flee, police said Thursday. Authorities said it was too soon to say what prompted the shooting.
News outlets have reported that the suspect made a racial comment to a man he encountered on his way out of the store after the shooting Wednesday. But when asked if the attack may have been racially motivated, Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers responded, “I can’t speculate on motive at this time. … We are pursuing all avenues of the investigation no matter where that takes us or what it involves.”
At a news conference Thursday, Rogers did say surveillance video shows the suspect tried unsuccessfully to enter the First Baptist church in Jeffersontown before he went to the Kroger. The church is headed by a black pastor and has a large African-American membership.
The FBI announced that it “is evaluating the evidence to determine if there were any violations of federal law.”
Rogers also said the suspect, 51-year-old Gregory Alan Bush, apparently does have a history of mental illness as news outlets have reported.
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 kept shooting him 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.