Screenshot of WLKY video

Accused Shooter Indicted: The man accused of killing Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones at a Jeffersontown Kroger was indicted on Wednesday, reports NBC News, PBS News Hour, U.S. News & World Report (AP), The Guardian and CBS News.

A grand jury indicted Gregory Bush, 51, on two counts of murder, one count of criminal attempted murder and two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

Officials say the gunman entered the Kroger store at 9080 Taylorsville Rd, where he shot Maurice Stallard, 69, in the back of the head while he was shopping with his 12-year-old grandson. He left the store and shot Vickie Lee Jones, 67, in the parking lot, police say. Both Mr. Stallard and Ms. Jones died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Per the initial report, another man exchanged fire in the parking lot with the gunman — that man was identified in this week’s indictment as Dominic Rozier. The parking lot exchange accounts for the criminal attempted murder charge. Mr. Rozier does not face charges.

Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine said of Rozier, “There is no indication that he acted other than in self-protection for himself and for others.” His wife was with him at the time of the attack; they were buying cupcakes for their son’s birthday, they told authorities.

The accused shooter also passed Ed Harrell, who was armed, and reportedly said: “Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites.”

The gunman is white; both Mr. Stallard and Ms. Jones are black.

CNN says the shooter was not charged with a hate crime just yet.

Said prosecutor Tom Wine

A hate crime designation only occurs when the judge makes such a determination at sentencing. If the judge finds a hate crime designation is appropriate, it doesn’t add any additional time. The designation is only useful if the judge wishes to deny probation or the parole board wants to defer parole.

And The New York Times says that designation is complicated, as the hate crime statute in Kentucky currently does not apply to murder.

That said, NPR and USA Today report federal investigators confirm an “open and active hate crimes investigation.”

USA Today reports Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers called the shooting a hate crime while speaking with the congregation at First Baptist Church in Jeffersontown this past Sunday. The gunman attempted to enter the First Baptist Church just before driving to the Kroger. First Baptist has a largely black congregation.

Church administrator Billy Williams was in the church at the time. He talked with CNN this week:

And then there’s this next story.

Hate for Sale: The Washington Post reports Nazi and KKK memorabilia were sold on the floor of a gun show at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

Joe Gerth at the Courier Journal took to the gun show in the wake of the Kroger murders, hoping to talk to dealers about whether they feared their product could fall into the wrong hands.

And that’s when he saw the old KKK robe up for sale at one of the booths.

He said the seller picked it up at an estate. “The family found it stashed away in a closet and didn’t want it.” So this guy put a $695 price tag on it.

And then he found the swastika Christmas ornaments on sale from another vendor. The vendor said the items were part of history.

Two former University of Kentucky winning Wildcat players, Rex Chapman and Mike Pratt, told the Expo Center to remove their Hall of Fame plaques if they plan to allow more of this type of thing to go on, says Newsweek.

And it sounds like the Kentucky State Fair Board is on their side.

Chairman Mark Lynn told The Washington Post:

Once we found out [those items] were there, it was really super shock and disbelief. Personally, I find these things exceptionally offensive.

I’m going to stand up and defend your rights to your freedom as much as humanly possible, but with every right to freedom comes a responsibility. If you want to wear it on your shirt, or put it on your car or truck, or tattoo it on your head or whatever, that’s up to you. But if you want to sell articles such as this [on our property] … then we have the rights to say, ‘Yes, you can; no, you can’t.’

And he says the fair board plans to propose a policy prohibiting the sale of items of “known hate.”

You could also have someone on staff walk through your events to make sure you know what’s going on out on the floor. That wouldn’t hurt.

Mr. Gerth has some people on his posts, like the ornament vendor, defending the items as a part of history. Maybe there’s a case for that. But context matters and this is not a museum, it’s a gun show and these items representing bigotry and hatred aren’t there for perspective — they’re up for sale. On public land. Days after two people were gunned down in Louisville for what the chief of police is calling a hate crime. And another group of 11 people were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. So.

Come and Get it!: LendingTree released its list of the “Most Promising Places to Open a Restaurant”in the U.S., and Louisville takes the No. 4 spot.

Milwaukee earns top honors with I-71 neighbors Cincinnati grabbing second place.

To factor the score, LendingTree looked at four categories: average estimated annual revenue, estimated payroll costs per employee, number of restaurants per 100,000 households with incomes of $50,000 or more and number of restaurants per 100,000 residents aged 35-54.

Those last two dropped traditional powerhouses like New York, San Francisco and New Orleans into the bottom three slots because those markets have so many restaurants going, they’re already over-saturated making it hard for a new name to catch anyone’s attention.

Which puts Louisville in an interesting spot. We find our way onto many a “best of” food list nationally and internationally, but city size and the ratio of restaurant goers and number of restaurants must still be tilting the needle in our favor.

Self-Starter: Jennifer Lawrence launched her own production company this week with producing partner Justine Polsky, says The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline. It’s called Excellent Cadaver.

According to Deadline, Excellent Cadaver will develop projects for Ms. Lawrence and they already have a first-look deal in place with Makeready. That production company is fairly new as well — they just got started in 2017 — so they don’t have a lot of credits to list just yet outside of “A Million Little Pieces” based on James Frey’s novel. But Makeready head Brad Weston is a big deal. Credits include: “Birdman,” “The Revenant,” “Gone Girl” and “12 Years a Slave.”

No word on what the name Excellent Cadaver references. Could be the Alexander Stille book or the movie it was based on starring Chazz Palminteri and F. Murray Abraham.

Or it could be production houses are named like racehorses now. That’s what The Guardian asks following the announcement: “Jennifer Lawrence’s Excellent Cadaver: Why do stars give their companies weird names?”

But then they don’t really have an answer; they just profile the names of other celebrity production companies.

Mine would be called The Hero Stole My Car Films, by the way. Named for the action film phenomenon in which the protagonist gets away with committing any number of crimes, often “borrowing” a mode of transportation, in pursuit of his or her nemesis. We, as the audience, are expected to forgive the transgression because we know the stakes, but all the poor supporting character knows is that the car is gone.

VROOM!

See you next week.

 

[dc_ad size="9"] [dc_ad size="10"]
Kyle Ware
Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.