Kentucky Gov. lost close friend in Louisville shooting

  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says he lost a close friend in a shooting
  • At least four people were killed and nine others injured during the gunfire
  • Beshear pleaded for prayers in an emotional speech: “This is awful”

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (NewsNation) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says he lost a close friend when a gunman opened fire at a downtown Louisville bank, killing four people and injuring at least nine others.

“We lost four children of God today, one of whom was one of my closest friends,” Beshear said.

Beshear initially thought he lost two friends, but later learned one had survived.

Authorities identified the four victims as Joshua Barrick, 40; Thomas Elliot, 63; Juliana Farmer, 45; and James Tutt, 64.

“Tommy Elliot helped me build my law career, helped me become governor, gave me advice on being a good dad,” Beshear said. “He’s one of the people I talked to most in the world and very rarely were we talking about my job. He was an incredible friend.”

Police said the suspect was a 23-year-old male bank employee, who died after an exchange of gunfire with police.

“My AG campaign was out of that building … that’s my bank,” Beshear said during a news conference earlier in the day.

Beshear encouraged anyone touched by the violence to reach out for help.

“Our bodies and our minds are not meant to go through these types of tragedies,” Beshear said.

This is the second time the Kentucky governor was personally impacted by a tragedy since taking office.

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