Killer of 2 elderly black shoppers gets life without parole

A mentally ill 53-year-old white man with a history of making racist threats will get treatment for his schizophrenia in prison, but will never be released back into society. On December 15, 2020, the so-called “Kroger store shooter” was sentenced to life without parole.

On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, Gregory Bush (photo, left, being escorted into court) went to a grocery store in suburban Louisville, Kentucky, where he shot Maurice Stallard, 69, inside and Vickie Jones, 67, in the parking lot after failing to gain entry to a nearby black church. This happened while his parents “were downtown seeking a mental inquest warrant to hospitalize him for everyone’s safety,” according to the public defender’s office.

Bush avoided a possible death penalty by pleading “guilty but mentally ill” to state murder charges. Bush, who is schizophrenic, allegedly was off his meds on the day of the crimes. But civil rights groups demanded hate crime charges, saying “mental illness doesn’t discriminate” the way he did, and a federal grand jury indicted him on three counts of hate crimes.

The third count was for shooting at another black man, Dominic Rozier (read about him here), and his wife in the parking lot who was armed and returned fire. Cars were damaged but neither was shot in that exchange of gunfire. The black man had a concealed carry permit and acted in self-defense.

Bush’s comment to a white bystander in the parking lot made headlines: “Whites don’t kill whites.” (Actually, that’s not true.) Bush previously had been married to a black woman and gone through a bitter divorce.

Read story here, background here, and a TV news report is below.

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