Yesterday, Louisville man Connor Sturgeon, 25, killed five people in a mass shooting at The Old National Bank in Kentucky where he worked. As is often the case following mass shootings, internet users are looking to see what they can find about the shooter's online history on social media before tech companies take the perpetrator's accounts down.
In the case of Sturgeon, a rumor has begun to circulate that he posted a Kylo Ren meme the day prior to the killings.
In a post on Reddit's /r/masskillers sub, user chrisabyss shared what is believed to be a screenshot of Sturgeon's Instagram Story, where he purportedly posted the "I Know What I Have To Do meme" from the Star Wars sequels hours before the shooting. If authentic, the meme could signify a look at Sturgeon's state of mind prior to the killings.
At the moment, it cannot be verified whether the account that posted the meme truly belongs to Sturgeon. The Reddit post is a picture of a screenshot, which makes it difficult to tell whether the post is authentic or digitally manipulated. However, there is some circumstantial evidence to suggest the post came from Sturgeon.
The account handle in the image is "csturg41." Sturgeon livestreamed the shooting from the Instagram account with that same name. It has also been a social media handle for Sturgeon in the past. In 2016, the Twitter account @PocketCity2k16 posted about Sturgeon's efforts in a basketball game and credited him using the same handle.
Redditors also found an account associated with the handle, though the account largely posted innocuous memes and Pokémon content. The account's history has been saved by Web Archive (albeit only until 2019).
If the Kylo Ren meme was in fact posted by Sturgeon, there is also no way of telling when he posted it. At the moment, all that the internet has to go on is chrisabyss' word that it was posted prior to the shooting, and since Meta has shut down the csturg41 account, that can't be confirmed unless the company itself confirms it.
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