Jeffersontown Police Chief Calls Kroger Killings A Hate Crime
"I want you all to realize that yes, we have a race problem. Yes, it is real."
The shooting at a local Kentucky Kroger grocery store which left two people dead is officially being investigated as a hate crime.
Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers spoke to the congregation at the First Baptist Church Sunday morning (Oct. 29) and said the killing of 69-year-old Maurice Stallard and 67-year-old Vicki Jones were motivated by race.
"The elephant in the room that some don’t want to acknowledge in this case," Rogers said.
Wednesday afternoon, (Oct. 24) Gregory Bush, a white man, walked into the Jeffersontown market and shot and killed Stallard before walking to the parking lot and firing off several rounds killing Jones. Reportedly, an armed bystander fired at him and Bush, 51, responded "whites don't kill whites" before running away. He was later captured by local police.
Bush is being held on a $5 million bond. He's charged with two counts of murder for 10 counts of endangerment in the first degree. Before venturing to the grocery store, Bush attempted to enter a predominately black church about 10 or 15 minutes from the Kroger.
"I won’t stand here and pretend that none of us know what could have happened if that evil man had gotten in the doors of this church," Roger said.
Court records show that Bush has a history of violence. In 2001, Bush's ex-wife, a black woman, sought an emergency protective order against him after he allegedly threatened her and called her a "n****r b*tch* twice.
Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf doubled-down on Rogers sentiment and urged the community to not let Bush's actions define them.
"I want you all to realize that yes, we have a race problem. Yes, it is real and it’s up to us to solve the problem of racism."