Louisville Bank Massacre Suspect ID’d as Varsity Hoop Star-Turned-Banker

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/LinkedIn
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/LinkedIn

The suspect in a Monday morning massacre at a Louisville bank has been identified as a 23-year-old former varsity hoops star and finance grad-turned-banker who livestreamed the horrific attack.

Louisville Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel identified the suspect as Connor Sturgeon, who worked at Old National Bank’s downtown Louisville branch.

Gwinn-Villaroel said Sturgeon was livestreaming as he used a rifle to open fire at about 8:38 a.m. in the Old National Bank Building, which houses the bank and a variety of other businesses, killing four people and injuring nine more, including three police officers. Sturgeon was killed after exchanging gunfire with officers, she said, but it’s unclear if he was killed by police or by self-inflicted gunshots.

Four Old National Bank employees were killed: senior vice president Tommy Elliott, 63, market executive Jim Tutt, 64, senior vice president of commercial real estate Josh Barrick, 40, and commercial banking agent Juliana Farmer, 57. Officer Nicholas Wilt, a 26-year-old who only graduated from the academy on March 31, was in critical but stable condition after being shot in the head, Gwinn-Villaroel said.

On Monday night, the Louisville Metro Police Department announced that a fifth victim, 57-year-old Deana Eckert, had died of injuries sustained in the shooting.

Gov. Andy Beshear said Elliott was one of his closest friends. “Tommy Elliott helped me build my law career, helped me become governor, gave me advice on being a good dad,” he said. “[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.”

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg also condemned the violence in strong terms, calling the shooting an act of “evil.”

“Let's be clear about what this was,” he said. “This was an evil act of targeted violence.”

A former friend and teammate of Sturgeon’s from Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, described Sturgeon to The Daily Beast as “Mr. Floyd Central.” Sturgeon was smart, popular, and a star athlete in high school track, football, and basketball, he said.

“I know everyone always says this about shooters but I truly would have never expected it to be him,” the teammate, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

He said Sturgeon always wore a helmet during basketball games because he had suffered so many concussions. “The big thing I keep going back to is that in the first year of high school, we played football together in eighth grade, he was out most of the year because he had multiple concussions. Then he had a couple more in high school,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s the cause but I always think back to that… There were times I’d wonder, will this catch up with him? But never in this way. He’s the last person I'd expect would do this.”

After graduating in 2016, Sturgeon went to the University of Alabama to “chase that SEC frat life,” the former friend said. He graduated there in 2020, the university confirmed.

In an essay on “personal ethics” for the University of Alabama, uploaded to CourseHero in 2018 under Sturgeon’s name, Sturgeon wrote about his quest to improve his “discipline, responsibility, and self-esteem... so that I can improve myself as a whole.”

“My self-esteem has long been a problem for me,” he wrote. “As a late bloomer in middle and high school, I struggled to a certain extent to fit in, and this has given me a somewhat negative self-image that persists today. Making friends has never been especially easy, so I have more experience than most in operating alone. Furthermore, college has introduced a whole new atmosphere and new challenges, so it is easy to feel like I am not doing as well as I should be. This semester, however, I think I have begun to mature socially and am beginning to see improvement in this area. I have found that taking time out to take stock of how I feel and what I can do to feel better has helped me be more social and in turn feel better about myself.”

In another section, he wrote that he’d previously been able to get good grades without studying much but, “Obviously as my classes get harder, it becomes much harder to take shortcuts... I continue to battle against myself, but I believe I have improved and can continue to do so.”

Kera Allgeier lives next door to Sturgeon in Louisville’s Camp Taylor neighborhood. She told The Daily Beast she got back from dropping her daughter off at school on Monday morning and returned to a swarm of police cars and ATVs in front of the house where Sturgeon has lived with a roommate for about a year.

The law enforcement presence has been heavy all day, and cops have been combing through the house and property with K-9 teams, Allgeier said.

Nothing about Sturgeon never seemed odd or unusual in any way, and he was always friendly, according to Allgeier.

“I can’t really say anything bad about him,” she said. “I didn’t see this all coming. We live pretty close, and heck, I’m the loudmouth, so I always worried about them hearing me. If there was any screaming or violence over there, you could hear it. And I never, ever heard any kind of argument, or any loudness. They were perfect neighbors.”

Allgeier was in Florida last week, and her father swung by to mulch the lawn, she said. Sturgeon walked by and said hello when Allgeier’s dad was there, and said nothing at all seemed amiss.

Sturgeon “seemed like a real normal dude, every day he’d wave to me,” Allgeier’s husband, Michael, added.

“And he would go his way, and I would go mine,” he said. “Quiet guy. You’d see him and his girlfriend carrying groceries into the house, just seemed like a regular dude.”

Allgeier is “numb to the violence” at this point, and “didn’t really have a reaction” when she heard the news, she said.

“I’m sorry, but nothing really shocks me,” Allgeier went on. “Am I surprised? Yeah, because it’s my neighbor. But am I really surprised? No, because I feel like this is becoming more and more frequent. Who wants to go hurt someone’s mom or dad, or have to worry about your mom or dad coming home from work? It’s just crazy. But apparently, there was something that wasn’t clicking up there, that made him do that.”

Two now-defunct Twitter accounts that appear to belong to Sturgeon included tagged photos of him on the athletics track and the basketball court as a 6’5’’ junior on Floyd Central’s basketball team. More recently, he hosted a basketball-focused podcast with two buddies and tweeted about the NBA in between posts in support of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, as well as some criticism of police violence and of then-President Donald Trump.

Citing sources, local network WAVE3 reported that Sturgeon was fired from Old National Bank last week.

Sturgeon’s LinkedIn indicates he had worked at Old National Bank as a syndications associate and portfolio banker after completing three summer internships between 2018 and 2020. “I am certified in the RMA Lending Decision Process, hold a Master’s in Finance from the University of Alabama, and am on the Young Professionals board for Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana,” he wrote on his profile.

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Sturgeon was once described online as a “finance major and a NBA hoop-head” by his father, Todd Sturgeon, who was Floyd Central’s head basketball coach until last year and previously coached the University of Indianapolis’ men’s basketball team for 10 seasons. Coach Sturgeon left the university in 2007 after watching Connor at a basketball camp and realizing “maybe he’d rather have more time to spend with his own sons than other people’s,” according to a 2007 story. Sturgeon’s brother is a professional model.

“I’m so sorry for the families,” Allgeier told The Daily Beast. “This is a big one.”

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