Mass Shooter’s Brain To Undergo Testing

Mass Shooter's Brain To Undergo Testing

( – Five people died, and eight others suffered injuries in a mass shooting at Old National Bank in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 10. Police identified the shooter as 25-year-old Connor James Sturgeon, a bank employee. Law enforcement officers fatally shot the suspect when they arrived on the scene.

In the days since the shooting, investigators and family members of the victims have searched for answers. People who knew Sturgeon expressed surprise that he would carry out such a crime. His family admitted he’d been depressed. Now his father is suggesting there might have been another cause for the rampage.

Too Many Brain Injuries

On April 13, Todd Sturgeon told CNN that his son’s brain was being tested for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The medical examiner finished up its autopsy of the alleged shooter, and Pete Palmer, a friend of the family, said the Stugeons were looking to get the brain tested further.

Morgan Hall, a spokesperson for Kentucky Justice & Public Safety Cabinet, told the outlet that no information is going to be released to the public until lab testing is complete. “This process will take several weeks.”

CTE is a degenerative and fatal brain disease that has been found in people who have suffered repeated head trauma. The only way to test for the disease is by examining the brain postmortem. It’s diagnosed by pathology tests that look for a buildup of the tau protein. In the case of Connor Sturgeon, his family thinks three concussions that he suffered while he was in school sports could have caused damage to his brain.

Are People With CTE Violent?

Studies have found that people who were diagnosed with CTE behaved violently when they were alive. In 2007, professional wrestler Chris Benoit murdered his wife and 7-year-old son, then killed himself. Two years after his death, Dr. Julian Bailes of the Sports Legacy Institute examined the wrestler’s brain. According to ABC News, he said it was so badly damaged it resembled an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient’s brain. Though never formally diagnosed, many experts now believe he suffered from CTE.

Benoit isn’t the only athlete to have murdered someone while allegedly suffering from CTE. Aaron Hernandez, the former tight end for the New England Patriots who was convicted of murder, also showed signs of the disease. He later hanged himself in prison.

Domestic violence and other violent behavior are also seen in athletes who have suffered many brain injuries. So, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Sturgeon also had CTE, and his family wants to know for sure.

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