(Louisville) A shooter opened fire on Monday morning at a bank in Kentucky’s main city Louisville, killing four people and injuring at least nine while streaming footage of the attack live on the internet, before shooting. be shot by the police.

The shooter is 23-year-old bank employee Connor Sturgeon, according to law enforcement.

He was “live streaming” during the attack, Louisville Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said at a press conference.

In a statement to AFP, a spokeswoman for Meta (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) said the company was “in contact with law enforcement” and claimed to have “promptly removed the ‘ live stream” of this tragic event this morning”.

Authorities didn’t say the shooter’s motive, but CNN said Connor Sturgeon had just been told he would be fired and left a letter for his family saying he was going to open fire. at the bank’s premises.

Called shortly after 8:30 a.m. for shootings at the Old National Bank premises in the city center, law enforcement arrived on the scene “in less than three minutes”, said Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel.

Some survivors managed to find refuge in the vault, according to CNN.

“The suspect fired in the direction of the police, we opened fire in response and neutralized this danger,” added Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel.

The officers “entered the building knowing they were risking their lives to save others,” Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said at the press conference.

Two officers were injured in the exchange of gunfire. One of them was seriously hit in the head and his condition is stable, but still critical after his brain operation, said Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel.

In all, nine people were admitted for treatment at a Louisville hospital. Three are in critical condition, she added.

The four people who died, three men and one woman, were between 40 and 64 years old.

“It was a diabolical act of targeted violence,” said Mayor Greenberg, who said he lost a “very good friend” in the killings.

The victim, Tommy Elliott, was also one of the “closest friends” of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who honored him and spoke out against gun violence.

Such acts “rip the ties that bind us together,” the Democratic governor said, expressing his “pain” after the day’s events.

President Joe Biden denounced “an absurd new episode of gun violence”.

“Once again our nation is in mourning,” he wrote on Twitter, calling relentlessly – and with little chance of success – for Congress to ban assault rifles.

The shooter was armed with such a rifle, an AR-15 type, often used in killings around the country, according to CNN, citing a federal law enforcement source.

The United States pays a very heavy price for the spread of firearms in its territory and the ease with which Americans have access to them.

On March 27, a person opened fire at a private elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, killing three 9-year-old children and three employees before being shot dead by police.

The country has more personal weapons than people: one in three adults owns at least one weapon and almost one in two adults lives in a household with a weapon.

The consequence of this proliferation is the very high rate of firearm deaths in the United States, unmatched by that of other developed countries.

According to the Gun Violence Archive database, approximately 49,000 people died from gunshot wounds in 2021, compared to 45,000 in 2020, which was already a record year. This represents more than 130 deaths per day, more than half of which are suicides.