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Man who killed 2 at supermarket in 2018 pleads guilty to hate crimes

In December, the suspect pleaded guilty but mentally ill to two counts of murder

Gregory A. Bush convicted gunman killer

In this Oct. 25, 2018, file photo, Gregory Bush is arraigned on two counts of murder and 10 counts of wanton endangerment in Louisville, Ky.

Scott Utterback/Courier Journal via AP, Pool, File

By Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky man serving a life sentence in prison for fatally shooting two shoppers at a grocery store has pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that the October 2018 shootings at a Kroger supermarket in Louisville were racially motivated. Gregory A. Bush, 53, pleaded guilty to the hate crime charges Thursday in Louisville.

In December, Bush pleaded guilty but mentally ill in state court to two counts of murder. He was sentenced to two life terms in prison with no chance for parole.

Bush shot 69-year-old Maurice Stallard inside the store, then walked outside and shot 67-year-old Vickie Jones. Both victims were Black, and Bush is white. Bush encountered a man in the store who drew a gun on him and Bush told him, “whites don’t shoot whites,” prosecutors said.

“The senseless murder of two of our citizens because of their race has no place in our community. Hate cannot, and will not, win,” FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown said in a news release from the U.S. Attorney.

Police said Bush first stopped at a historically Black church nearby before heading with his handgun to the busy grocery store on Oct. 24, 2018.

Investigators said the two shooting victims had never met Bush.

Bush also pleaded guilty to federal firearms violations. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole on the new charges. He will be sentenced in June.