Shooting At Kentucky Grocery Store Investigated As Possible Hate Crime
The murder of two black customers a Kentucky grocery store is being investigated as a possible hate crime, the United States Attorney's Office in the Western District of Kentucky announced Friday (Oct. 26), according to NBC News.
U.S. Attorney Russell M. Coleman of Louisville said in a statement that the government is not taking the murders “lightly.” FBI investigators are working with local authorities to determine if suspect, Gregory Alan Bush, will be tried on civil rights violations, in addition to murder charges.
Coleman's announcement came a day after Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers said that there was no known motive for the shooting, but that authorities were "pursuing all avenues of the investigation no matter where that takes us or what it involves."
According to a police report, Bush walked into Kroger near Louisville Wednesday (Oct. 24) afternoon and shot 69-year-old Maurice Stallard in the back of the head. Bush continued firing after the victim fell to the floor. Stallard, whose daughter is Louisville's Chief Racial Equity Officer, was at the store with his grandson picking up supplies for a school project.
Vickie Lee Jones, a 67-year-old retiree, died from multiple gunshot wounds after being gunned down in the store's parking lot.
A witness who encountered Bush after the shooting said that he told him, “ I won't shoot you. Whites don't shoot whites.” Bush also attempted to enter into a black church before he settled on the grocery store.
Bush was arraigned Friday, on two counts of murder and 10 counts of felony wanton endangerment (putting another person at risk for death or serious injury). He is being held on $5 million bond.