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Mayor: Level Of Gun Violence Is Beyond Horrific; Mayor: Arguing, Doing Nothing Is Not A Strategy; Five Dead, 4 Remain Hospitalized After Shooting At Louisville Bank; Emotional Kentucky Leader Mourn Loss Of Lives In Bank Massacre. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired April 11, 2023 - 12:00   ET



REP. MORGAN MCGARVEY (D-KY): The biggest, small town in America. We call it Louisvillage because really and truly everybody knows everybody. We are not seven degrees of separation from people in Louisville. We are one degree of separation from people in Louisville.

When we ask you, what school did you go to? We mean high school. I went to Manual High School. My mom went to Wagner High School. Louisville is my home. And we are hurting. This is an unimaginable tragedy for our community.

As Mayor Greenberg mentioned Deana Eckert passed away last night, a truly lovely woman. Jim Tut is no longer with us. Josh Barrick is no longer with us. The woman who was the maid of honor in our wedding, and for whom we are the godparents of two of their children, called me yesterday from the Barrick's house and said, I'm with Jessica Barrick. She hasn't heard from her husband, can you find out if he's alive?

I called LMPD. And as they did everything, yesterday, were quick in their response, I had to call back and say I cannot confirm anything. But he is not on the list of survivors. And she had to tell their two small children that their father would never come home from work. Juliana Farmer is no longer with us. Tommy Elliot, my friend is no longer with us.

Because it's Louisville, I didn't just know Tommy. I knew Tommy well. His wife even worked with my wife for a time at a company here in town. Their lives have been forever changed. The people who knew them are forever changed. Our community is forever changed. I am so grateful to the quick response of the Louisville Metro Police Department.

Chief, your team was incredible yesterday, to run headfirst into that gunfire without question saved lives and also changed lives. Officer Wilt, as we know, is fighting right now after being struck in the head by an AR-15 round on his fourth ever shift as a police officer.

To the team at Louisville, Thank you, Dr. Smith. Again, this is the collateral damage of gun violence. Every person who touched these victims and these officers had to deal with this trauma and will have to process this trauma in their own way. Thank you also to all of our first responders, the Louisville fire department, our emergency medical technicians, to the FBI, to the ATF to everyone who is involved. Continue to pray for the people recovering.

They need it and we want it. Today and in the weeks ahead, we are grieving. We are hurting. We are heartbroken. We are despondent. But we are Louisvillians. And that same closeknit community that creates this heartbreak will knit together the strength that brings us back.

I'm proud of the Mayor and his team for the job they've done. Talked with the governor. I've also worked with federal authorities talking with Secretary Mayorkas atHomeland Security and the vice president united states. They are sending additional resources to Louisville, including counseling resources.

Unfortunately, this is not the first second or third time an incident like this has happened in our country. They know what to do. And they're going to be helping us out. I will continue with our federal and local officials to mobilize the resources we need, working with our police departments, our faith leaders, our city and state leaders to make sure that our city receives what it needs to begin healing.

And we need to take this grief and turn it into action. I am a person of faith. I was raised in the church, we've raised our kids in the church. Please if you are a person of faith, and you want to give us your thoughts and your prayers, we want them and we need them. Our community is hurting. But we need policies in place that will keep this from happening again.


So that thoughts and prayers do not have to be offered to get another community ripped apart by the savage violence coming from guns. Look at what's happening. I had somebody tell me the other day, don't make this political. Fine, don't make this political. People's lives aren't political. Public safety isn't political. Put those policies in place that put people first, people over guns, kids over guns, public safety over guns.

Because that is what we need to address this problem. I'm an optimist. Maybe to be a Democrat in Kentucky, you have to be. But I have seen us come together in the state legislature where I served before being elected to Congress, working with some of my conservative colleagues to introduce crisis aversion rights, retention laws that would help temporarily remove firearms from people in crisis.

This investigation is dynamic, it is ongoing. But we know this shooter purchased an AR-15 rifle on April 4. We know he left a note, we know he texted or called at least one person to let them know he was suicidal and contemplating harm. But we don't have the tools on the books to deal with someone who is an imminent danger to themselves or to others.

We can do this, we can come together at the federal level, working with each other to solve this problem, which is impacting all of us in a uniquely American way, and get universal background checks. So that people who shouldn't have a gun can't buy one. That we are taking weapons of war off of our streets, that we are helping people who are in crisis. That is not a political issue.

But it becomes one, when Kentucky Republicans would rather ban books and pronouns and then make Kentucky a sanctuary state for weapons. We are hurting. And no matter what policy we pass, no, it will not bring back these people. This will not bring back our friends, our neighbors and our loved ones. We will continue to get the resources for our community that we need. And we will continue to work to make sure that we have the policies in place that keep other families, other loved ones, other kids from going through this tragedy again.

MAYOR CRAIG GREENBERG, (D), LOUISVILLE: Thank you, Congressman McGarvey. Dr. Smith, the Chief, congressman, myself were available to take some questions from the media. And because we have many people joining us, that we don't typically see if you could please just let us know what your outlet is, is as we call on you. Yes.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: Chief might have some other things to add. I don't believe we have any other information to provide at this point. As the chief mentioned earlier, we have been able to confirm that he was a current employee of the bank and when he purchased the weapon, but Chief, do we have anything?

INTERIM CHIEF JACQUELYN GWINN-VILLAROEL LOUISVILLE POLICE: There's nothing else further at this time. But we do know that this was targeted. He knew those individuals, of course, because he worked there. And that we know what was played out on yesterday taking those lives and injuring so many others. Just truly unfortunate, but again, the investigation is ongoing. And whatever we uncover, it will actually be revealed to everyone.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: We don't have an answer to that yet, Mark. We don't know. We just - We just know what the - what the results are. And we will certainly continue that as part of the investigation.

REPORTER: Can you speak procedurally about what comes next? We know that LMPD protocol when officers fire their weapons, there has to be an investigation. (inaudible) timeline of what that looks like who will be conducting the investigation and what we know how many officers fired shots, things of that nature.

GWINN-VILLAROEL: Yes. And I have my - my colleagues here and who had been done an extraordinary work in helping me on yesterday. So I would like to highlight Lieutenant Colonel Crowell come up and - and just share because he's over the investigation And I think it's appropriate for him to do that.


LT. COL. AARON CROWELL, LOUISVILLE METRO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Thank you. So at this point, because of the complexity of the scene, we can make the determination yesterday to segment the internal shooting where between the shooter and the employees to a homicide investigation. And then the Public Integrity Unit will be the external shooting incident, which was between the suspect and the officers. So there's two separate investigations going. Louisville Metro Police will be handling the Public Integrity Unit and the homicide investigation. We discussed (inaudible) and determined that was the appropriate route for us to keep it within our own our own structure there.

As far as number of rounds or any specific information, it's going to be quite some time before we're going to share any kind of specifics that would, you know, take the investigation one way or another.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

CROWELL: As I think we said multiple times, it was an AR-15. Yes, sir.

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Adrienne Broaddus from CNN, and my question is for Dr. Smith. (inaudible) Can you just share with us what is on your heart and what that process was like to operate on officer (inaudible) and how long (inaudible)?

DR. JASON SMITH, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, UOFL HEALTH: Sure. While I won't get into too many specifics about the patients we're currently caring for. We did operate on - on three of them yesterday, they required emergency operations. My team were absolute professionals, we trained for this, it's difficult to, it's very difficult to be able to process what's going on during that time.

And so the training that we do with our emergency department, nurses and physicians, our surgical services, our trauma teams, the blood bank, all of that makes a huge difference in being able to save those lives because we have to act quickly. But I'll be honest, caring for three shooting victims, and plus the other that came in is not an unfrequent day for us. And the events surrounding this made this obviously much more difficult.

But to be honest with you, we barely had to adjust our operating room schedule to be able to do this. That's how frequent we are having to deal with gun violence in our community. I'll tell you, personally, I'm weary. I've been a little bit for over 15 years, all of it at University Hospital. For 15 years, I've cared for victims of violence and gunshot wounds.

And people say I'm tired, but I'll be answered, it's more than tired. I'm weary. There's only so many times you can walk into a room and tell someone they're not coming home tomorrow. And it just breaks your heart. When you hear someone screaming mommy, or daddy, it just becomes too hard day in and day out to be able to do that.

Now, my team is fantastic. They're - they're absolute professionals, and they're wonderful. But sooner or later, it catches up to everybody. You just can't keep doing what we're doing because you just can't keep seeing these lives lost. You can't keep seeing all the people with these horrific injuries coming through the door without doing something to try and help them.

And I don't know what the answers are. I'm a doctor. I don't know what the answers are. But to everyone who helps make policy, both at state, city, federal, I would simply ask you to do something. Because doing nothing, which is what we've been doing is not working.

We have to do something, because this is just getting out of hand across our city and across this great nation of ours. Sorry.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

SMITH: Yes, so he's still in the ICU. He's still sedated. And I again, I apologize. I'm not going to release any other information for the patients that were still taking care of.

REPORTER: He's still in critical, still in - you said yesterday, the next 24 hours are going to be very intense. Is that still the same you're saying today?

SMITH: Yes. So he's still in critical condition in our ICU, he's being treated by our neurosurgery team, being treated by our trauma team and our anesthesia teams. And is still undergoing a lot of care at bedside.

REPORTER: A good news we have another patient released, I know we talk a lot about the hurt people receive trauma care but (inaudible) able to leave and walk out of the hospital. How does that feel to see the good part of this today?

SMITH: Yes, so I mean, the answer is, is that you know, today we had four, we may have three, the ones that are doing well are doing well. And I think you know, the - the work that we do with the physicians and the nurses at the hospital it's just, it's unbelievable sometimes the people that we're able to save these days.


We have partners like the Red Cross that can get us you know 170 units of blood in an eight-hour period of time it's just the coordination of the city, of the healthcare system and of the hospital is - is outstanding to be able to say that those patients are going home.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: I'll call on the chief or someone from LMPD, to talk about precautions to take if this ever happens to you, or you find yourself in a similar situation. I don't think we have the information yet on whether there were armed guards within the bank. We don't have any evidence that there was, but we have not yet confirmed that. Chief, you or someone else -


GRRENBERG: - might want to talk about some precautions?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Like he said, we have no information about any armed security that was at the bank. But in these situations, it's very simple. We teach people run, hide fight. Right? I can say that we do know that people saved their own lives yesterday, when they heard the gunshots, and they either run or hid, and they got out of the danger area. And we are grateful for that. So run, hide fight, get out of the area, if you cannot get out of the area, hide. If you cannot hide safely, fight. Do not think that you do not have the capacity to fight back and save your life. When it comes down to it, that's the only choice you have. And you better fight like your life depends on it, because you have to. So run, hide or fight.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: We don't have an exact number of people who were in the building or in the shooting yet. The shooting took place on the first floor, which is slightly elevated from the sidewalk because of the grade there. There were other people in the buildings. LMPD did clear the entire building in a very safe, rapid manner. So there were many other people in the building. We don't have those exact numbers yet. Yes Sir.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GWINN-VILLAROEL: That is correct.

REPORTER: Obviously, as we heard this was his fourth shift on the job, is it accurate to say he still did not hesitate?

GWINN-VILLAROEL: He did not hesitate.


GWINN-VILLAROEL: At all. He was with his field training officer and he did not hesitate. Just truly proud of the heroic actions of those two officers, and everybody else that responded. They went towards danger in order to save and preserve life. And that's what you saw on yesterday, they stopped a threat. So other lives could be saved. And so no hesitation. And they did what they were called to do.

REPORTER: (inaudible) We've heard from Dr. Smith being weary about this death (inaudible) over and over. Are you weary about your officers and (inaudible)?

GWINN-VILLAROEL: I'm not weary at this point as to what my officers are going to do because they've been standing up. They're still engaged, they're still serving the city. I'm weary that we're dealing with the violence. But I'm not weary that my officers are going to lay down and stop doing what they are told and trained to do. And they looked at me and they were truly amazed that how everybody came together.

And one of the questions I asked them on yesterday, I said, if we don't go, who will? And they all nodded, that they're going. And so we'll continue to go because the citizens of this great city depends on us. And so I'm just really proud of the resiliency of LMPD, the men and women of this great city is showing up and they're serving. And I appreciate them. And I appreciate the community support for our department.

GREENBERG: One question here and then we'll go over there. One second Isaiah will get this question and we'll come over to you guys.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GWINN-VILLAROEL: Yes, ma'am, he was grazed in the left side.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GWINN-VILLAROEL: I'm sorry. Cory. Yes.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GWINN-VILLAROEL: Again, it's still ongoing, and we're just trying to piece everything together and just truly unfold everything. But again, once we do have it all, you'll be able to receive that information in its totality and with accuracy, because that's important. So right now, we're just still at the beginning stages and I know we want more, but we're right here and just the family deserves for us to get this right. We can continue to do it the right way.


REPORTER: (inaudible)


REPORTER: (inaudible)

GWINN-VILLAROEL: I don't want to confirm that just yet. The confirmation of a note. OK, so we're just going to leave it right there for right now.


REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: That is not - from what I have been told from an official at the bank that is not accurate. The shooter was a current employee of the bank.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: Not to my knowledge, I don't believe that is correct. I don't believe that is correct.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: We're, we're going to continue to keep trying. We've been doing a lot, we've started to do things that had not been previously done both in terms of short, short-term action with respect to reducing the amount of illegal guns on our street, and long term investments in people in neighborhoods. And we're going to keep trying, we're working with our partners on the Metro Council.

I know we're very supportive of a lot of what we're talking about here, because like me, they care about our city today, and they care about our city tomorrow. But one way we can do more is with the help of the state legislators. And that's why I'm reaching out to all of them today and will continue in the days and weeks and months ahead, is to help us, give us more tools in our toolbox to address this unique gun violence epidemic that we have in Louisville, in a way that the members of the Metro Council and our administration and the people of Louisville feel is most appropriate to keep our city safe.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: I'm not calling for a special session at this time, I want to have conversations, I want to work on a plan and I want to work on getting that implemented as fast as possible. And we can figure out those details later.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

SMITH: Yes, there were always other patients is this - is the simple answer to that. When we appreciate everyone getting out, but donating blood now helps us in the future. And the lives that were saved yesterday were because of the American Red Cross, and the blood they had on the shelves and the blood that they provided us.

So going now to donate and continuing to donate is what's going to make a difference for the patients that are coming through the doors tomorrow, today, a week from now a month from now. It's not just enough to go once because the blood is a finite resource, it lasts a finite period of time.

It needs a continual effort from all those in the community to help supply the blood products needed to care for those that are victims of violence, of trauma, of car accidents. And I think that is really the message to get out is give blood and continue to do that.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: One was Officer Galloway that we were talking about and the third was -

GWINN-VILLAROEL: We had just another officer, just - actually just had a bruise on the left.

GREENBERG: It was not the result of a gunshot. The third officer was - was injured in the response but not as the result of a gunshot. Tara, Tara.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: I'm not aware of anything in relation to that. So we - I don't have any information on that. In the blue.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: The most important thing in the immediate aftermath, in the minutes after that was to ensure that our officers could respond and that they could respond initially to the scene as they did and then to secure the scene.


And start ensuring that there was access to the hospitals for the victims and to provide good support to the victims who were there. That was the immediate focus and so shortly after the shooting an alert was sent out to encourage people to avoid that area. I understand that was well after the situation, the immediate danger had been, had been addressed and neutralized.

But we still wanted to keep people away from that officer. We had so - from that area, we had so many first responders of all sorts that were there. And we were trying to keep that - those lanes clear and people away from there so that they could focus on - on doing what - what they needed to do. Yes.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: Not at this time. Yes.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: He was a current employee who worked in that building, so he had access to the building as a result of being an employee in that building.

REPORTER: (inaudible)


REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: How many guns did the shooter have?

REPORTER: Yes. (inaudible)

CROWELL: At this point in the investigation, we're not going to share any specifics as far as firearms other than what's already been stated, how many, how many rounds were fired? How many people were involved, it's premature for us to have that discussion. We're still gathering the information. And even what we think we know right now, it would be premature to hang our hat and say this is a 100 percent what happened because it is still ongoing.

So it's just, it's not appropriate or responsible to put that information out right now. And then we'd have to walk it back at a later time.

GREENBERG: We have time for a couple more from folks that have not asked the question so far.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

GREENBERG: It was, just as we mentioned yesterday, I mean, it was just a matter of minutes. I believe that the 911 call came in at 8:38 and we were on scene at 8:41. And we were on--

CROWELL: (inaudible) minutes from start to finish as far as when he began. Then we were notified three minutes after that. And then we responded three minutes after that. And then within -

GREENBERG: Yes. Stand by the mic. Say that again.

CROWELL: And we will get into more detail with us when we go through the videos this afternoon. But it's about a nine-minute span from the time he begins his assault. And then a few minutes after that before we get the first call on it. Three minutes after that when we respond to the scene, and then about three minutes after we respond, the subject is neutralized.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

CROWELL: We've said multiple times it's Officer Galloway.

GREENBERG: All right it's time for two more questions. Yes sir. And then over on this side here.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

CROWELL: That's their geographic area of responsibility. So they - they were patrolling in immediate area when the calls came in.

REPORTER: I'm sorry did you say it was Officer Galloway who shot the shooter?



REPORTER: (Inaudible)

GREENBERG: Is Officer Wilt serving as a still an EMT or? OK.

CROWELL: He previously worked with Oldham County.

GREENBERG: OK. Previously worked at Oldham County. We don't have any other information on that. We again as - as was mentioned, we will continue to provide updates on all of this. We will be releasing body camera footage later this afternoon. If there are other updates available at that point in time, we will make them available. Thank you all very much for being here. Have a good day.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. Welcome to Inside Politics. I'm John King in Washington. If you've been watching along with us, you have taken a few deep breaths. You have sighed and you have gone into deeper sadness listening to the Louisville mayor, others, local officials. Grief overflowing at the emotional press conference just they're running a little more - almost an hour.

City officials showing the forever scars of that massacre yesterday at a local downtown bank. The scars made on their lives and on their community. The mayor making a plea that is enough is enough asking the state legislature. If you won't pass new state laws, give the city the authority to do more in the fight against gun violence. The Congressman the New Democrat representing that district reciting the names of the members of his community. [12:30:00]