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Mayor leading Louisville through bank shooting has personal connection to gun violence

<i>Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal/USA Today Network</i><br/>Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg delivers remarks during a press conference on April 11 about the Old National Bank mass shooting.
Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Jo
Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal/USA Today Network
Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg delivers remarks during a press conference on April 11 about the Old National Bank mass shooting.

By Sydney Kashiwagi, CNN

A recent shooting at a Louisville, Kentucky, bank was especially personal for the city’s mayor, Craig Greenberg.

Greenberg, a survivor of workplace gun violence himself, revealed that he had lost a close friend in the Monday morning attack.

“Last year, I survived a workplace shooting. And now yesterday, I’ve lost a very close friend in another workplace shooting,” he said of Tommy Elliot, a senior vice president at the Old National Bank — where a gunman opened fire killing five.

Last year, as a Democratic mayoral candidate, Greenberg had been the target of a shooting at his campaign headquarters. While he wasn’t injured in the shooting, CNN previously reported that a round appeared to strike his clothing in the incident.

“It is painful, painful for all of the families I know,” he said of the latest shooting, adding: “It just hits home in a unique way when you know one of the victims so well.”

The mayor on Tuesday pushed for gun reform, arguing that the state law should be changed.

“Let us, the people of Louisville, make our own choices about how we reduce gun violence in our city,” he said.

‘Beyond horrific’

Forty people have been killed by guns so far this year in Louisville, Greenberg said Tuesday, delivering an impassioned plea for state and federal government to take action on gun violence or to cede that power to the city.

“That level of gun violence is beyond horrific,” he said.

“We have to take action now. We need short-term action to end this gun violence epidemic now so fewer people die on our streets, and in our banks, and in our schools and in our churches. And for that, we need help. We need help from our friends in Frankfurt and help from our friends in Washington, DC,” the mayor added.

Authorities said a 25-year-old employee of Old National Bank had opened fire on his colleagues Monday morning as they gathered for a meeting before the bank opened its doors. The bank’s manager said she witnessed the shooting virtually as the meeting was being streamed (officials said the gunman separately streamed the attack online).

A law enforcement source told CNN that the shooter, who was killed in a police shootout, had been on the brink of being terminated when he entered the bank with a rifle.

The gunman, according to police, used an AR-15-style weapon that was purchased locally and legally six days before the attack. The AR-15 and its offshoots have been used in several recent mass shootings, including a deadly shooting at Nashville school two weeks before.

Greenberg told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that he had spoken with several local lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and planned to meet with them formally in the coming days to “talk about what we can do together.”

“We are weary. We are tired. We have had enough gun violence in Louisville. We have had enough gun violence in our country and it is time to take action. And so as mayor, I know I will be working with elected officials … with clergy with anyone who wants to be a part of the solution to take whatever actions we can to encourage our state legislatures to take action to give us more tools to end gun violence,” he said.

‘This isn’t about partisan politics’

Greenberg, speaking during a news conference earlier Tuesday on the bank shooting, said that nobody has the “luxury” of thinking they won’t have a connection to gun violence at some point in their life.

“This isn’t about partisan politics. This is about life and death. This is about preventing tragedies. You may think this will never happen to you, never happen to any of your friends or loved ones. I used to think that. The sad truth is that now no one in our city, no one in our state, no one in our country has that luxury anymore,” he continued.

Last year, a Kentucky grand jury indicted Quintez Brown, the man accused of shooting at Greenberg, on charges of attempted murder and first-degree wanton endangerment.

Brown pleaded not guilty and his attorney said at a court appearance that he believed “there are serious mental issues at play here.”

Following that shooting, Greenberg detailed the incident to CNN’s John Berman, saying, “We asked if we could help him. And he pulled out a gun, aimed it directly at me and opened fire.”

“I was fortunate that one of my brave teammates slammed the door shut. They were able to throw some desks on top of the door and the suspect fled. So, we are very blessed to be here today. All of us on the team are,” he said at the time on “New Day.”

Greenberg went on to win the Democratic primary for mayor nearly three months after the shooting and then to beat Republican candidate William Dieruf.

Greenberg, an entrepreneur and community leader, ran on a platform that prioritized public safety, justice, affordable housing, strengthening education, jobs and making Louisville “greener.”

“We must improve public safety, to make it a safer city for all of our residents, for everyone that’s visiting here and there’s so much that we can and must do,” Greenberg told Spectrum News 1 before his November victory.

A trained lawyer, Greenberg is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Law School, according to his bio. He helped launch 21c Museum Hotels, a regional “multi-venue” contemporary art museum and hotel chain, and is a co-owner of Ohio Valley Wrestling.

He and his wife Rachel have two sons.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Emma Tucker and Devan Cole contributed to this report.

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