(EDITOR’S NOTE, 10/25/18, 5:11 PM ET: This article has been updated to include the names of the two African Americans the white male shooter killed, and the fact that authorities have not yet labeled the shooting as a hate crime.)
A white man carried out a deadly shooting at a Kroger grocery store outside of Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday, and it may have been racially motivated.
WAVE 3 News in Louisville reported that two people, who were both black, were killed in the shooting at the Kroger on Taylorsville Road in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, just East of Louisville. The gunman initially opened fire on a black man inside the store, then walked back out into the parking lot and shot a black woman. Both were dead at the scene.
A white man with a gun confronted the shooter, and the two exchanged fire but missed. Then, the gunman made a revealing statement about his possible motive when he decided to spare the man confronting him: “Whites don’t kill whites.”
That’s according to the man’s son, who watched his father confront the shooter and heard the shooter make the statement.
It has been reported that two black people were killed in a Kroger in Kentucky today. Listen to this interview with the son of the man who confronted the shooter. #ThisIsAmerica. 2018. https://t.co/pZMLJz60bx pic.twitter.com/ed2z3I2ptx
— deray (@deray) October 25, 2018
Slate identified the two victims as 69-year-old Maurice Stallard, who was shopping with his 12-year-old grandson, and 67-year-old Vickie Lee Jones. Stallard was the father of Louisville’s chief racial equity officer. And according to Intercept columnist Shaun King, a witness to the parking lot shooting said Jones was their mother. King added that as of this writing, city officials haven’t yet referred to the shooting as a hate crime.
The shooter was identified as a 51-year-old white man who has since been charged with two counts of murder, and 10 counts of wanton endangerment. He is currently being held at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, and is due to appear in court on Friday, according to WAVE 3.
“I am heartbroken by this shameful and horrifying incident, and I am angry about the tragedy that results from people with guns who have no respect for human life,” tweeted Louisville mayor Greg Fischer.
I am heartbroken by this shameful and horrifying incident, and I am angry about the tragedy that results from people with guns who have no respect for human life. Over the coming days, we will learn more about what happened. 1/2
— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) October 24, 2018
The Kroger shooting comes in the midst of a flurry of right-wing political violence across America. The shooting happened the same week that multiple pipe bombs were mailed to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump. Earlier this week, several members of a white supremacist hate group were indicted on federal rioting charges for brawling with protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.
(Grit Post’s editorial policy is to not publish the names or likenesses of mass shooters or domestic terrorists, or name white supremacist organizations, in order to prevent them from attaining notoriety.)
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.