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Thursday Jan 24 2019
By
REUTERS
,
Web Desk

Five killed in central Florida bank shooting, police say

By
REUTERS
,
Web Desk
Image: WFLA via CNN

ORLANDO: A young gunman killed multiple people following a hostage situation at a Florida bank, a security official confirmed Wednesday as per various international media outlets.

The incident happened at a branch of the SunTrust Bank in Florida's Sebring around 12:30 PM ET (1730 GMT), CNN reported, citing Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell.

The suspect, said to be in his early 20s, was arrested after he called the police himself.

At a news conference, Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said the suspect, identified as Zephen Xaver, 21, called the police and said he had fired shots inside the bank.

After negotiators failed to convince the suspect to leave the bank, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team entered the building and continued to talk to him, police said. He eventually surrendered and is in custody.

Police did not offer any details about a possible motive.

“Today has been a tragic day in our community,” Hoglund said. “We’ve suffered significant loss at the hands of a senseless criminal doing a senseless crime.”

No information has been released about the victims. It was not clear whether anyone was wounded.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he has asked the state’s department of law enforcement to assist local police officials in the investigation.

A spokesperson for the bank, Sue Mallino, said, “We are working closely with officials and seeking to take care of everyone affected at our Sebring, Florida branch.”

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