A gunman who barricaded himself in a SunTrust Bank in Florida killed at least five people in the branch on Wednesday, Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said.
The suspect called authorities to say he had entered the bank in Sebring, about 85 miles south of Orlando, and began shooting, according to Hoglund. Authorities identified the suspect as 21-year-old Sebring resident Zephen Xaver, who is in custody.
“We’ve suffered significant loss at the hands of a senseless criminal doing a senseless crime,” Hoglund said.
It wasn’t immediately clear if those shot were bank employees or customers. The victims have not yet been identified and family notifications have not yet been made, according to authorities.
“This is a terrible day for Sebring, Highlands County and for the state of Florida,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said.
The incident began with the phone call to authorities from the suspect shortly after 12:30 p.m., officials said.
“I have shot five people,” the caller said, according to Sebring Police. Sebring Police and Highlands County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene.
Initial negotiations to try to get the barricaded suspect to leave the bank were not successful, so a SWAT team entered the bank and continued negotiations, reported CNN.
The suspect eventually surrendered to the SWAT team at the bank along US-27, between Lake Jackson and Little Lake Jackson, police said.
The FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are assisting in the case. Authorities are still investigating the motive.