Kroger Gunman Tried To Enter A Black Church Moments Before Fatal Shooting
Kentucky officials have surveillance evidence which shows Gregory Bush, 51, as he proceeds to enter a historically Black church moments before fatally shooting two Black people at a Kroger supermarket in Jefferstown on Wednesday, according to The New York Times.
Bush, a white male from Louisville, was arraigned on Thursday in connection with the shooting, a horrific event which authorities have yet to label as a hate crime after a witness said they heard Bush spew racial remarks during the fatal episode.
Bush was charged with two counts of murder and 10 counts of wanton endangerment, in connection with the shooting which claimed the life of Vickie Lee Jones, 67, and Maurice Stallard, 69, the Times reports. Bush’s bail was set at $5 million.
Police say the surveillance video shows Bush as he attempts to enter the doors of First Baptist Church, a predominately Black church just 16 minutes from the supermarket. According to the church’s administrator, eight to 10 people were in worship services during the time of Bush’s arrival. A church member said they were alarmed after watching Bush’s aggressive attempts to enter the church. He then left after 10 minutes.
Authorities then believe Bush left the church and headed to Kroger where he first opened fire inside the store around 3 p.m., fatally striking Stallard. He then exited and fired at Jones in the parking lot. Both died at the scene.
Police believe Bush was fired at by a bystander whose name has not been released, but police rushed to the scene as Bush tried to flee. Police arrived about four minutes after 911 calls were made for help.
Police have hesitated to label the shooting as a hate crime to investigate the motive, due to Bush’s history with mental illness. Police believe Bush had no prior affiliation with either of the victims and have found no evidence as to why Bush targeted the grocery store.
However, the son of a man who said his father was face to face with the gunman told Wave3 News that Bush said “whites don’t kill white’s” during their confrontation.
A local outlet WDRB reports Bush had a history of violence and making racial statements, repeatedly calling his wife the n-word.