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KENTUCKY KROGER SHOOTING SUSPECT INDICTED BY A GRAND JURY

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The man accused in the shooting deaths of two grocery store customers in Kentucky has been indicted on two counts of murder. Prosecutors say Gregory Bush was indicted Wednesday by a Jefferson County grand jury in the shootings October 24 at a Kroger store in suburban Louisville. Bush also was indicted on one count of criminal attempted murder and two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

A federal prosecutor has said the rampage in Jeffersontown is being investigated as a possible federal hate crime. Bush is white and the two victims were black.

Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Thomas Wine said Wednesday that he believes Bush’s actions were racially motivated, but Kentucky statute does not allow him to charge Bush separately with a hate crime at the local level — that designation would be up to a judge at the sentencing phase. Wine, along with religious leaders, the Louisville mayor and some legislators, have called for the state’s hate crime law, which doesn’t cover homicides, to be strengthened in the wake of the Kroger killings and the shooting rampage that left 11 dead at a Pittsburgh synagogue last Saturday.

Bush was seen on surveillance video trying to enter a historically black church minutes before the shootings at the grocery store. He was not able to enter the church, police said. About 70 people had been inside First Baptist Church Jeffersontown earlier that day for a Bible study, but it had ended by the time Bush arrived and the doors were locked.

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