The five victims of a mass shooting in Louisville, Kentucky, which occurred at a bank, have been identified, including the close friend of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. Nine others were injured in the shooting.
Deana Eckert, 57, who dedicated 31 years to the banking industry in Kentucky as an executive administrative officer, was "known for always going the extra mile," said bank chairman and CEO James Ryan during a presentation to the board for Old National's ONe Vision Annual Award in 2019, according to USA Today. "She serves selfless labor time to ensure the success of our branch, and she mentors different associates." Eckert's death was confirmed by Louisville Police on Monday night.
Josh Barrick, 40, who served as senior vice president of commercial real estate banking at Old National for less than a year and was the father of two children, and James Tutt Jr., 64, who was the commercial real estate market executive for the southern region and had been with the company since January 2015, were also among those lost.
Juliana Farmer, 45, a loan analyst at Old National Bank who was seen on Facebook celebrating the news of an upcoming grandchild, was another victim of the senseless act of violence.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) revealed that he lost one of his closest friends in the shooting. Beshear described the victim, Tommy Elliot, 63, as someone who had helped him build his law career, become governor, and become a better dad, according to Axios.
"Tommy Elliot helped me build my law career, helped me become governor, gave me advice on being a good dad," Beshear said. "He was an incredible friend. These are irreplaceable, amazing individuals that a terrible act of violence tore from all of us," Beshear continued.
These events are part of a larger trend of increased gun violence paired with a mental health crisis in the US over the past decade.
According to data from the Gun Violence Archive cited by Axios, there have been 146 mass shootings so far this year, which is more than the number of days in 2023.
About a fifth of US adults say they or someone close to them has had an experience with gun violence in the past five years. Furthermore, the number of gun-related deaths among American children has risen by 50 percent over the last two years, according to a recent Pew Research Center report. In 2021, more children and teenagers were killed by guns than in any year since the CDC began tracking the data in 1999.
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