© Reuters. Two police officers advance upon the suspect of a mass shooting lying on the ground at Old National Bank in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. April, 10, 2023 in a still image from police body camera video. The video was digitally obscured at source. Lo
By Sharon Bernstein and Julia Harte
(Reuters) – The desperate rush by a rookie policeman and his training officer to bring a mass shooting at a Kentucky bank to a halt was captured in spare but dramatic detail in footage from their body cameras, released by authorities on Tuesday.
The footage, shown by the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department during an afternoon briefing and which the police posted on Twitter later, comes a day after a Louisville bank employee killed five people and wounded nine others – including the two officers – while he livestreamed video of the attack on Instagram.
The body camera footage opens with an image of the console of the police cruiser as it pulls up to the downtown building. The steering wheel veers wildly from side to side as rookie officer Nickolas Wilt drives the car and his partner, Cory Galloway, shouts directions off camera.
“Pull up, pull up, pull up,” Galloway barks. Gunfire sounds. “Back up! Back up! Back up!” he shouts again.
Arriving just three minutes after they have been dispatched, Wilt readies his handgun as Galloway grabs a rifle out of the trunk, and the camera image lurches up the steps to the bank building. A burst of gunfire is heard as the suspect shoots at the officers from inside the lobby.
Both officers appear to fall, but Galloway scrambles to his feet and runs down the steps to hide behind a planter. He waits a few seconds, hears more gunfire, then peeks out and seems to react to seeing Wilt down. “God damn it!” he shouts.
Backup appears on the scene about three minutes after Galloway and Wilt.
“The shooter has an angle on that officer,” Galloway says. “We need to get up there.”
“God,” he shouts two minutes later, “don’t have an angle!”
After more gunfire, Galloway – who is himself injured – hits the gunman, 25-year-old Connor Sturgeon, from his position out on the steps.
“Suspect down,” Galloway shouts as he walks into the building.
Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey, who spoke during Tuesday’s presentation, explained that Wilt was also down. He had been shot in the head but was alive. At last report, he remained in critical condition.
“What you saw on that video was absolutely amazing,” Humphrey said after displaying the body camera video from both officers as well as a bystander. “There’s only a few people in this country that can do what they did.”