Tags: Mass Shootings | florida | shooting | bank | armed robbery

CNN: At Least Five Dead in Fla. Hostage Shooting at Bank

police officers take cover behind a black nissan rogue outside a florida bank during a hostage situation
Law enforcement officials take cover outside a SunTrust Bank branch on Wednesday in Sebring, Florida. (The News Sun/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 January 2019 04:12 PM

An armed man opened fire inside a Sebring, Florida, bank Wednesday, killing at least five people, according to Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund, CNN reported.

The victims have not yet been identified, pending notification of next of kin, Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman said, according to CNN.

The suspect was identified as Zephen Xaver, 21, of Sebring, and he is in custody after surrending.

"This is a terrible day for Sebring, Highlands County and for the state of Florida," Gov. Ron DeSantis said, per the report..

According to an alert by the Highlands County Sheriff's Office, deputies and Sebring police responded to the SunTrust bank on U.S. Highway 27 about 12:30 p.m. ET after a person called the agency's dispatch and reported shots were fired inside the bank, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

A sheriff's SWAT team subsequently entered the bank and the suspect eventually surrendered, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

There was no immediate information on the identity of the shooter, what prompted the shootings or the conditions of those struck by gunfire.

According to NBC affiliate WFLA, the Sebring Police Department confirmed "several people are down" at the bank, located northwest of Lake Okeechobee.

But Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell described the incident as a "hostage situation" in which multiple people had been shot. WTSP reported a shooting with more than one victim injured.

The WTSP report described the incident as having begun with "an apparent bank robbery." 

According to the Highlands News-Sun newspaper's Facebook page, Highlands County officials reported five people were injured in the shooting at SunTrust Bank. 

Sebring is widely known in the auto racing world for the 12 Hours of Sebring Race in Highlands County.

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At least five people are dead after an armed man opened fire inside a Sebring, Florida bank Wednesday, CNN reported, citing local law enforcement officials.
florida, shooting, bank, armed robbery
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 04:12 PM
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