Presbyterian Church USA's downtown Louisville headquarters was forced to lock down Monday during the Louisville bank mass shooting. PCUSA's headquarters was only two blocks away.
Employees could not enter or exit the building known as the Presbyterian Center, but denomination officials held a brief prayer service, led by PCUSA Corporation President Kathy Lueckert.
Five people were killed and eight others injured during the shooting at Old National Bank Monday. The perpetrator was identified as Connor Sturgeon, a former employee at the bank.
Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, the State Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA, was disheartened by yet another murder spree, only this time it was in his own neighborhood.
"How many more times will we have to cry out, 'How long, O Lord!'" Nelson II said in a statement issued Monday. "Today we mourn the loss of our neighbors. One more time, just two blocks away from us, blood has been shed.
"We offer our prayers of consolation for those who have suffered injury or loss and we cry out yet again, to all not directly caught up in this violence, in the words of Bob Dylan's painful ballad, 'How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn't see?' To the leaders among us who have failed to adequately address the curse of gun violence in our country, and who continue to block legislative efforts to curtail the proliferation of weapons designed to kill, we say, once again, ENOUGH!"
Lueckert said of the shooting, "It's a beautiful morning and yet death is all around us. It's a sad commentary that we have to have a service like this. We should not be here as we think about what has happened so close to us.
"I think of first responders who are processing all of this. I think of all those families who went to work today and won't go home tonight. Life is so fragile and here we are again, thinking about the epidemic of gun violence in this country. There never seems to be enough death or casualties to make a difference. I don't know what anyone can do to stop this epidemic, but it must stop. Louisville is a small place. Many of us will have connections, so keep each other in our prayers."
The PCUSA statement said that the city of Louisville is "facing an uptick in shooting deaths, including a drive-by shooting Monday morning around the same time as the bank shooting."
The incidents were not connected.
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma News.
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