UK students share perspectives on deadly Louisville shooting


Casey Sebastiano, Reporter

Students weighed in on the shooting that occurred at a bank in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, this morning leaving at least four people dead and nine injured.

According to WLKY, a Louisville news station, 13 people were shot before the gunman, identified as Connor Sturgeon, died at the scene after exchanging fire with police.

Louisville is approximately a one hour drive from Lexington.

“I already have a fear of being in a mass shooting, just because they’re so common. So it being that close definitely makes me more fearful,” Meg Pangborn, a junior at UK, said. “I’m from the Detroit, Michigan area and there was a school shooting last year, so it’s happening in all these areas I’m around.”

One student said that they did not know there was a shooting. 

“It really bugs me that I didn’t even know about it, especially with it being an hour away,” Erin Hubbard, a junior at UK, said. “It’s really quite difficult, because there’s a part of me that is initially shocked and wants to be devastated, but there’s another part of me that is not surprised.”

This shooting marks the 146th mass shooting of 2023 so far, according to the gun violence archives website.

“I feel like all news is now is shootings here, shootings there. I feel like they keep getting closer and closer to people I know and myself. I feel helpless, I feel like there’s nothing I can do to help stop it,” freshman Kimberlee Helton said.

Some students said they have thought about how to act in a scenario where their lives are put in danger due to gun violence. 

Hubbard said the shooting’s close proximity was concerning, calling it “jarring.”

“It makes me start to wonder if there is anything I should be doing to protect myself if it does get here, or if something were to happen here,” Hubbard said. 

Every student interviewed gave similar input on the gun laws that are in place in the United States, but more specifically Kentucky.

Helton said that because people cannot use an automatic rifle for hunting, “there’s no reasonable explanation for why someone should have such a high powered gun.”

Pangborn agreed, saying she believes gun reform is needed to prevent shootings like this one from happening. 

“That’s kind of why we’re in the boat we’re in right now,” she said. “I think it’s definitely very possible for a shooting to happen in Lexington, and honestly I feel like it’s inevitable. It’s just a matter of when it’s gonna be.”