Five dead in Florida bank shooting
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 1/24/19, 11:07 am
A gunman killed five people inside a Florida bank on Wednesday before a SWAT team arrested him, according to police. Investigators have not offered a possible motive, and a police spokesman said he didn’t know if the attack began as a robbery. Zephen Xaver, 21, called police to report that he had fired shots inside the SunTrust Bank branch in Sebring, Fla. He then barricaded himself inside, and when negotiations failed, the SWAT team entered the building and captured him. Authorities did not immediately identify the victims.
“Today’s been a tragic day in our community,” Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said at a news conference. “We’ve suffered significant loss at the hands of a senseless criminal doing a senseless crime.”
“[Xaver] always hated people and wanted everybody to die,” Alex Gerlach, who identified herself as Xaver’s ex-girlfriend, told WSBT-TV in Indiana. She said everyone she warned about his behavior never took it seriously. Xaver had recently moved to Florida from Indiana. He worked as a trainee prison guard at the Avon Park Correctional Institution in Polk County, Fla., from November to January, when he resigned, according to Florida Department of Correction records.
“Our entire team mourns this terrible loss,” SunTrust Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers said in a statement, noting that the bank is “working with officials and dedicating ourselves to fully addressing the needs of all the families involved.”
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