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Louisville bank shooting survivor recalls harrowing experience as police release 911 calls

911 calls released in Louisville shooting
Chilling 911 calls released in Louisville bank shooting 03:22

An injured bank employee told CBS News about her harrowing experience getting shot by a co-worker, as Louisville Metro Police released audio of the 911 calls placed following the mass shooting that killed five people and injured nine.

The shooting occurred in Louisville, Kentucky, Monday morning inside a branch of Old National Bank. Police said that the 25-year-old shooter, identified as Connor Sturgeon, was a bank employee who was armed with a semi-automatic AR-15-style weapon.

The shooter was killed during an exchange of gunfire with responding officers, police have said. They also said he livestreamed the shooting.

Dana Mitchell, who worked at the bank, knew the gunman and told CBS News that she is recovering after being shot in the back. 

"The bullet went in and out just below the surface," she said. "It was high enough up that it ripped the skin open. It was a wound about 10 inches long. But didn't hit anything important."

Mitchell said she was shocked that her co-worker, who at one point she mentored, could carry out such a horrific attack. 

"I knew Connor very well," she said. "I was his mentor his first year at the bank. He never made me feel like he would have done this. Not in a million years. He was very kind and soft-spoken. You would never had thought this would have happened."

Mitchell recalled seeing him enter the bank with a gun and begin shooting. 

"When I saw him in the hallway with the gun I thought, why would he bring that here to show us? It didn't even register to me he was ready to shoot," she said. "Everybody there but one person was in a conference room for a meeting."

"The only person that was there was in the hallway," she continued. "I saw him standing in the hallway with a gun and I saw him shoot the person in the hallway. Everyone started running. But we had nowhere to run."

Mitchell said upon being shot she just lay still, hoping he would not shoot her again. 

"I felt him shooting me immediately. I just laid down there," she said. "I tried not to breathe a lot. I didn't want to move around. I didn't want him to see me moving or hear me breathing, because I thought he might shoot me again."

He eventually left the conference room and continued shooting, Mitchell said. But she also heard gunshots that came from another gun as police arrived. 

Mitchell said reports that Sturgeon had been fired from the bank were not true. 

"He was not terminated, he was still an employee," she said. "I don't know where the rumor came from."

Mitchell says she is still grappling being a victim of a mass shooting, something she never thought could happen to her. 

"I never imagined this would happen at my place of work or to me," she told CBS News. "You see it on TV and it happens to other people but it doesn't happen to people you know. But this is one of those things."

On Wednesday, Louisville Police released audio of 911 calls about the shooting, the day after they released excerpts of police bodycam footage. The 911 audio features six calls from witnesses inside and outside the bank — and a call from the alleged gunman's concerned mother.

The first call comes from a woman who says she witnessed the shooting through a video conference call. She says she saw the shooter walk into the room and open fire. 

"We were having a board meeting," she tearfully tells the dispatcher. "We heard multiple shots and then everyone started saying 'oh my God' and then he came into the boardroom."

A second call came from a witness inside the bank, whispering as she hides inside a closet while gunshots are heard in the background. The caller says she recognized the shooter as someone who works with her. 

She tells the dispatcher she believes eight or nine people were shot. When asked about the severity of the injuries, she says: "I don't know. I just saw a lot of blood." As gunshots continue to fire in the background, the dispatcher advises the caller to remain quiet. 

Another call came from Sturgeon's mother, who tried to warn authorities after speaking to her son's roommate. 

"He has a gun and he's heading toward the Old National on Main Street here in Louisville," she told the 911 operator. "This is his mother. I'm so sorry, I'm getting details secondhand. Oh my lord."

Sturgeon's mother, who said she had no idea where he would have gotten a gun, told the dispatcher she was worried and confused about what was happening. 

"I don't know what to do, I need your help," she says frantically. "He's never hurt anyone, he's a really great kid."

"Please, he's not violent," she adds. "He's never done anything."

She said she was on her way to the bank before the operator told her to avoid the area at all costs.

"It's dangerous there," the dispatcher warns.

In a statement, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said the 911 audio was being released because "transparency is important — even more so in times of crisis."

The victims of the shooting have been identified. 

  • Joshua Barrick, 40, was a senior vice president of the bank, and a father of two. He also coached first and second grade basketball at his church, CBS affiliate WLKY reported.
  • James Tutt, 64, was a market executive who left behind a wife, children and grandchildren.
  • Thomas Elliot, 63, was a senior vice president at the bank. Both Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Louisville Mayor Greenberg said they were friends with Elliot. 
  • Juliana Farmer, 45, was a commercial banking agent. WKLY reported she had recently moved to Louisville and was expecting her fifth grandchild. 
  • Deana Eckert, 57, died later from injuries sustained in the shooting. Greenberg described the executive administrative officer as a "kind and thoughtful person" and mother of two. 

As of Wednesday evening, two patients were still being treated at University of Louisville Hospital, including a wounded police officer who is listed in critical condition. Officer Nickolas Wilt, who was shot in the head while exchanging fire with the gunman, was working his fourth-ever shift as a police officer after graduating from the academy last month.

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