In Jeffersontown, Kentucky, a white man arrested for shooting and killing two African-American customers at a grocery store last Wednesday was seen unsuccessfully trying to enter a predominantly black church shortly before his rampage. Police say 51-year-old Gregory Bush was captured on a surveillance camera trying to force open the doors of the First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown for several minutes, before turning his attention instead to a nearby Kroger supermarket, where he opened fire and killed two African Americans—Maurice Stallard and Vickie Lee Jones. After the killings, Bush was confronted by an armed bystander, Ed Harrell, in the parking lot outside the supermarket. This is Harrell’s son, Steve Zinninger, speaking with a local NBC affiliate.
Reporter: “So, your dad was confronting the shooter.”
Steve Zinninger: “Yeah. Yeah.”
Reporter: “OK. Did that man say anything? Or, how did your dad figure out something wasn’t right?”
Steve Zinniger: “He didn’t realize it was him 'til he'd already seen the gun by his side. And he said, ’Don’t shoot me, I won’t shoot you.’ He’s like, 'Whites don't kill whites.’”
Gregory Bush has a history of making racist slurs and has a long rap sheet of misdemeanor charges, including domestic violence, menacing and making terroristic threats. In 2009, a judge ordered Bush to surrender his guns and undergo mental health treatment, after his parents claimed Bush threatened to shoot them in the head. Bush’s father said his son “carries a gun wherever he goes.” It’s not clear whether Bush’s guns were returned when the court order expired in 2011. Gregory Bush will face two counts of murder and 10 counts of wanton endangerment at a court hearing scheduled for November. Prosecutors are investigating the murders as a “possible hate crime.”