going above and beyond
- Feb 19, 2001
Kentucky gunman attempted to enter predominantly black church minutes before grocery store shooting
By Jessica Schladebeck, New York Daily News
Gregory Bush, a 51-year-old from Louisville with a history of mental illness and violence, was arrested shortly after the attack Wednesday and charged with murder in the deaths of 67-year-old Vickie Lee Jones and 69-year-old Maurice Stallard. He's also facing an additional 10 counts of wanton endangerment.
Shortly after releasing Bush's photo to the public, officials received a tip from an employee of the city of Jeffersontown, who said he saw the suspect outside the First Baptist Church, which is headed by a black pastor and has a significant African-American membership, city police chief Sam Rogers said during a press conference.
Video from the property confirmed Bush was at the church before he made his way to the Kroger in Jeffersontown, located on the outskirts of Louisville about two miles away.
"He was unsuccessful in gaining access to the church," Rogers said. "I do not know the correlation, but it was just 10 to 15 minutes before the shooting."
He added it was too soon to say whether or not the shooting was racially motivated, emphasizing authorities "are pursuing all avenues of investigation no matter where that takes us or what it involves."
The FBI also announced it "is evaluating the evidence to determine if there were any violations of federal law," including hate crimes.
Cops said Bush on Wednesday walked to the back of the Kroger store and shot Stallard in the back of the head. He continued to fire at him "as he was down on the floor" and then made his way to the parking lot, where he allegedly shot Jones.
The shooter reportedly traded gunfire with a third person outside before he was apprehended. The son of the armed man, who was legally carrying a weapon, told WAVE3 that Bush vowed he would not fire if the other man also refrained from doing so.
"He said he wouldn't shoot if he didn't shoot so my dad just stayed there and then the guy took off down the parking lot," the son said.
"He said 'don't shoot me, I won't shoot you.' He's like, 'whites don't kill whites.'"
Bush's criminal record shows he previously threatened his ex-wife and twice punched a deputy sheriff trying to subdue him, according to court records. He was charged with assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in addition to being designated a "suicide risk" in wake of the 2009 incident.
He was additionally charged with menacing for following a 15-year-old into a movie theater bathroom and wrapping his hands around her waist in 2003.
Bush is behind bars on $5 million bond.