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‘I just swore him in': Rookie Louisville officer shot in head had only 10 days on the job

Officer Nickolas Wilt is in critical but stable condition after undergoing emergency brain surgery


In this photo provided by the Louisville Metro Police Department, from left, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg, Officer Nickolas Wilt and Louisville Metro Interim Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel pose for a photo, in Louisville, Ky., March 31, 2023. Wilt was shot while responding to a call where a bank employee armed with a rifle opened fire at his workplace early Monday, April 10.

Louisville Metro Police Department via AP

By Tessa Duvall
Lexington Herald-Leader

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Rookie Louisville Metro Police Officer Nickolas Wilt, 26, was on the job for just 10 days before responding to the active shooter at Old National Bank in downtown Louisville Monday morning.

Wilt is in critical but stable condition following emergency brain surgery after being shot in the head during the mass shooting, LMPD Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Speaking to CBS Mornings, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said Tuesday that Wilt “did make some positive progress throughout the day” Monday, calling it “some good news.”

“We are praying for his continued recovery,” Greenberg said.

Gwinn-Villaroel said Wilt graduated from the Metro Police Academy on March 31.

“I just swore him in, and his family was there to witness his journey to become a police officer,” she said.

According to Wilt’s LinkedIn page, he’d also previously worked as an EMT in neighboring Oldham County. The Oldham Era newspaper reports Wilt graduated from Oldham County High School in 2016.

The Old National Bank shooting left five people — including the gunman, Connor Sturgeon — dead on the scene and nine total injured.

Acording to LMPD, the people killed in the shooting are Joshua Barrick, 40; Juliana Farmer, 45; James Tutt, 64; and Thomas Elliott, 63. Gov. Andy Beshear said Elliott was a close personal friend.

Gwinn-Villaroel said two other officers were injured: one was grazed on the left side, and another suffered minor injuries to the elbow.

Gwinn-Villaroel also confirmed Sturgeon, who was armed with a rifle, was killed on scene by one of the responding LMPD officers.

Dr. Jason W. Smith of the University of Louisville Hospital said three patients, including Wilt, required emergency surgery and as of the 3 p.m. update, all were still sedated.

“No one is currently awake but it’s still very early in this process,” Smith said. “Really, the next 24 hours for all involved in this who required operation are going to be a critical time period for us to understand really how well they’re going to recover from this acute part of their overall care.

“They’ve got long roads ahead of them, but if we can get through 24 hours, then we will take another 24 hours and we will keep doing that until they get out the hospital.”

Smith said U of L Hospital received nine total patients from the Old National Bank shooting. Of those, three were in critical condition, three remain in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and three more were treated and released. Five total patients were treated for gunshot wounds from this shooting, he said.

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