A white man who killed two people at a Jeffersontown, Ky., Kroger earlier this week at first tried to enter a predominantly Black church just minutes before his attack, police say, according to the New York Times. Gregory Bush, 51, was arraigned on Thursday on two counts of murder and 10 counts of wanton endangerment, and was ordered to be held on $5 million bail. Currently, officers are still trying to determine a motive for the attack which killed two Black people, 67-year-old Vickie Lee Jones and 69-year-old Maurice E. Stallard. The son of a witness claimed that his father heard Bush make racist remarks during the incident, however police have not been able to confirm this. Police said that there is also no indication that Bush knew either of the victims, or that he had any connection to the Kroger grocery store. However, police did recover surveillance footage that showed Bush trying to get into the First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown just before he opened fire in the Kroger. A church member who was in the parking lot saw Bush aggressively pulling on the church’s doors, before driving away.

“There were 70 people here at our weekly meeting service just an hour before he came by,” Billy Williams, the church administrator told the Times. “I’m just thankful that all of our doors and security was in place.”

About 8 to 10 people were inside the church when Bush tried to get in, according to Williams. He then turned his attention to the Kroger where he entered and fired several rounds at Stallard. He then left the store and opened fire on Jones in the parking lot. Bush was stopped by an armed bystander who shot at him. He attempted to flee but was eventually caught by officers. Bush allegedly told the gunman who intervened that “whites don’t kill whites,” but Police Chief Sam Rogers was unable to confirm that tale. Bush, according to reports, struggled with mental illness, and had a long criminal history that included charges of assault, domestic violence and threats that included the use of racial slurs. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are helping Jeffersontown police with the investigation, as they work to figure out whether the weapon Bush used was legally obtained.


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