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Kentucky Gov. Beshear says he lost two 'close' friends in Louisville shooting

“I have a very close friend that didn’t make it tonight," the governor said. "And I have another close friend who did not, either, and one who’s at the hospital but I hope is going to make it through."
Image: Police Work The Scene Of A Shooting In Louisville, Kentucky
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks at a news conference after a gunman opened fire at the Old National Bank building Monday in Louisville, Ky.Luke Sharrett / Getty Images

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear held back tears as he told reporters that two of the dead and one of the wounded in a shooting in downtown Louisville on Monday are his “close” friends.

A gunman opened fire at Old National Bank in Louisville on Monday morning, killing at least four people and wounding eight others, authorities said. The shooter, described as a current or former employee of the bank, also wounded two responding police officers, one of them critically, officials said. The gunman was killed not long afterward, Deputy Louisville Police Chief Paul Humphrey said.

Follow live coverage of the shooting in Louisville on

“This is awful,” Beshear said at a news conference. “I have a very close friend that didn’t make it tonight. And I have another close friend who did not, either, and one who’s at the hospital but I hope is going to make it through.”

Beshear said he hopes people will pray for those who need to undergo surgery, and he called for the public to extend its support to affected families.

“We’ve got to wrap our arms around these families and everybody who needs it,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to get some help. Our bodies and our minds are not meant to go through these types of tragedies.”

He also said he hopes the “brave officers” who “stepped into the line of fire,” employees of bank and other people in the building will “reach out and get the help that they need.”

Beshear mentioned that his campaign for attorney general was based in the same building.

“There are a lot of people that are hurting today. And if we have a place to focus our energy, I hope it is to surround them with the love and the compassion that we have been so good at showing one another,” he said.

Beshear concluded by commending the law enforcement officers on the ground: “I want people to know that while today is a horrific act, I do believe that this is a safe community, with officers doing their very best each and every day.”

Humphrey said two officers were wounded; one was rushed into surgery, and the other had a non-life-threatening injury.

Six people, including three young children, were killed in a shooting in a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, almost two weeks ago.