The man suspected of killing four and injuring nine at the Old National Bank in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, was a star athlete in high school who allegedly suffered so many concussions he wore a helmet at basketball games.
Police identified the gunman as Connor Sturgeon, 23, an employee at the bank who live streamed his rampage on Instagram before police shot him dead on Monday.
Back when he was a freshman at the Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, Sturgeon was an all-round athlete, playing basketball, football and running track.
As his father was the head coach of the team, a former classmate told The Daily Beast Sturgeon was known as “Mr. Floyd Central.”
However, the classmate, who asked to remain anonymous, noted Sturgeon oddly wore a helmet while playing basketball due to multiple concussions he suffered while playing football.
“We played football together in eighth grade. He was out most of the year because he had multiple concussions,” he said. “Then he had a couple more in high school.”
A photo from Sturgeon’s junior year with the Floyd Central High School basketball team showed him wearing a helmet at a game where he scored nearly half the team’s points.
The classmate said he couldn’t help but think about Sturgeon’s high school injuries and link them to other incidents where athletes who have suffered concussion have gone on to harm themselves or others.
In recent years doctors have made numerous links between football players and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy [CTE], a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head.
Those diagnosed with CTE usually have impaired thinking and memory and are prone to aggression, mood swings, depression and paranoia, according to the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Disgraced New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was convicted of murder in 2015, was found to have had chronic CTE after his 2017 prison suicide.
During his senior year, Sturgeon won the 2016 News and Tribune Sports Performance Yearly Award for Boys Track Athlete of the year.
After graduating high school, Sturgeon went on to the University of Alabama to study finance, earning his master of science in finance in 2020.
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