As youth in the United States fight the pandemic of mental health issues plaguing their generation, it may come as no surprise that Connor Sturgeon, the 25-year-old who killed five people at the Old National Bank in Louisville Monday, struggled with depression.
Charisma News columnist, evangelist and former Charisma magazine editor Lee Grady says we have a serious mental health crisis in this country, and certainly Sturgeon's actions are no evidence to the contrary.
Two weeks ago, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who was under care for an emotional disorder, shot and killed three adults and three children at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee.
She had guns that were hidden in her home, however, under Tennessee law mental illness is not grounds for police to confiscate weapons unless a person is deemed mentally incompetent by a court, "judicially committed" to a mental institution or placed under a conservatorship "by reason of mental defect," Reuters reports.
Confirmation of Sturgeon's struggle with depression came from Sturgeon's family, and the family said they were "actively addressing" it. But in a statement to WDRB this week, their son's actions nonetheless stunned them.
"While Connor, like many of his contemporaries, had mental health challenges which we, as a family, were actively addressing, there were never any warning signs or indications he was capable of this shocking act," the statement read.
"While we have many unanswered questions, we will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials and do all we can to aid everyone in understanding why and how this happened."
Sturgeon was a low-level employee of the bank—Syndications Associate and Portfolio Banker—according to his LinkedIn profile and from police reports. He had been working there full-time since 2021 after completing a master's degree from the University of Alabama.
The statement from Sturgeon's family said it has many "unanswered questions."
"No words can express our sorrow, anguish, and horror at the unthinkable harm our son Connor inflicted on innocent people, their families, and the entire Louisville community," the statement read. We mourn their loss and that of our son, Connor. We pray for everyone traumatized by his senseless acts of violence and are deeply grateful for the bravery and heroism of the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department."
Charisma News also reported that police in Colorado Springs averted another school massacre which would have allegedly been perpetrated by a 19-year-old transgender person. A family member alerted the police to the possibility of the incident.
Reuters reported that there have been 146 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2023, the most at this point in the year since 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The nonprofit group defines a mass shooting as four or more shot or killed, not including the shooter.
Grady says "a national spiritual awakening is our only hope."
"We can put Band-aids on this problem, but our culture will continue to spiral downward unless we acknowledge our desperate need," Grady wrote. "We pay an awful price when a nation rejects God. ...
"Our only way to escape this spiritual disaster is to seek an emergency spiritual solution. We must storm heaven with our prayers. Pray that our nation will turn to the Lord. Pray that hard hearts will soften. Pray that closed minds will open to the truth of God's Word.
"Pray especially for the many people like Audrey Hale [and Connor Sturgeon], who right now are so depressed, confused and hopeless that they feel tempted to do the devil's work. May the Lord have mercy on us, and deliver us from evil."
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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