On Monday morning, a mass shooting occurred at a bank in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, killing five people and wounding eight others. Among the victims were Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear's close friends.
At a news conference after the shooting, Beshear emotionally revealed that he initially believed that two of his friends had died, and another was hospitalized with injuries from the attack.
However, he later updated his statement, stating that one of his friends was hospitalized but expected to recover.
You can hear what Beshear said in the video below.
"This is awful. I have a very close friend that didn't make it today, and I have another close friend that didn't either and one who's at the hospital that I hope is going to make it through."
Beshear spoke about one of the victims, Thomas Elliot, whom he described as “one of my closest friends":
“Tommy Elliott helped me build my law career. Helped me become governor. Gave me advice on being a good dad."
"He was one of the people I talked to most in the world, and very rarely were we talking about my job. He was an incredible friend.”
He also spoke candidly about the shock of the experience and stressed the importance of supporting the families of the shooting victims:
"When we talk about praying, I hope people will for those that we are hoping can make it through the surgeries that they are going through. And then we've got to do what we have done these last three years after everything, we've got to wrap our arms around these families."
"Our bodies and our minds are not meant to go through these types of tragedies."
Many expressed their support for Beshear and those affected by the shooting.
The identities of the deceased victims were later released by the Louisville Metro Police Department as Joshua Barrick, 40; Thomas Elliot, 63; James Tutt, 64; Deana Eckert, 57; and Juliana Farmer. Farmer's age was unclear as the police provided two different ages. Elliot was known to both Beshear and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg.
The suspected shooter, a 25-year-old man who worked at the bank, was also killed during the incident. Two police officers were shot while exchanging gunfire with the shooter. One of the officers is in critical condition and is being treated at a hospital.
The motive behind the shooting is still unclear, and investigations are ongoing. It comes scarcely two weeks after a shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee claimed the lives of three adults and three children and galvanized gun reform activists nationwide.