A 25-year-old man fired a gun at a bank in Kentucky, killing four and injuring nine. According to the police, the shooter died after an exchange of fire with the police at the scene. The man was said to have been employed by the bank in Louisville.

He filmed his attack on Monday morning and broadcast it live on the Internet, according to local police chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel. “It is particularly tragic to know that this incident was recorded,” she said. However, the police are optimistic that they will be able to take the footage offline.

Louisville Deputy Chief of Police Paul Humphrey said officers arrived at the scene minutes after the 911 call and found the gunman, who was still firing at the time. Two officers were injured in the exchange of fire with him.

Three injured in critical condition

Officials “reacted in a timely manner and quickly, and we stopped the threat so there were no more casualties,” Gwinn-Villaroel said. It was initially unclear whether the perpetrator was killed by the police or shot himself.

According to the police, the victims killed are men and women between the ages of 40 and 64. Three of the nine injured are in critical condition.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said he himself lost one of his closest friends in the attack. “He’s one of the people I spoke to the most and very rarely did we talk about my job. He was an incredible friend,” the governor said of the dead man.

Police Chief Gwinn-Villaroel said one seriously injured was a police officer who was shot in the head during the confrontation with the gunman. It is a 26-year-old man who recently completed police training. “He is in critical but stable condition,” she said.

Discussions about stricter gun laws

The United States has long faced tremendous levels of gun violence. Rampages and deadly shootouts are part of everyday life. Larger attacks of this kind regularly lead to discussions about tightening gun laws – but so far without any success. Firearms are readily available in the US.

After Monday’s shooting, US President Joe Biden once again called for tightening of gun laws in the country. “Too many Americans are paying the price of inaction with their lives,” he said yesterday. “When will Republicans in Congress act to protect our communities?”

His predecessors repeatedly failed in attempts to persuade the parliament, which was riddled with party-political rifts, to ban assault rifles and other protective measures. In order to implement them, Biden and his Democrats would have to rely on the willingness of the Republicans in Congress to cooperate – but that is not in sight on this topic.

Efforts to introduce stricter gun laws have been in vain for many years – mainly because Republicans are opposed to them. And because the gun lobby, led by the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), vehemently opposes any attempt to regulate gun ownership more closely.