SEBRING (Florida). According to police, the suspect who allegedly robbed the Florida branch SunTrust Bank of its Florida branch apparently forced the five women into the lobby and shot them in the back.
Karl Hoglund, Chief of Sebring Police, stated that there are no signs that ZefenXaver intended rob a bank and there is no connection between him and the bank or the victims.
Following the shooting deaths of four bank employees, and a client, Xaver (21 years old) was charged with five counts each of premeditated killing.
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“He forced the bank to be taken over. Hoglund stated that he then shot all bank employees. “He shot them all and then called 911 to inform dispatchers that he had killed everyone at the bank.”
All the victims were lying face down in lobby of bank, with gunshots to their backs. According to affidavits. Xaver’s 9mm pistol was found scattered across the floor.
The chief stated that Xaver refused surrender to officers and didn’t allow them to reach the victims after he called 911. After more than an hour of negotiations the chief ordered special forces to arrive. They had to use an armored personnel vehicle to break through the front doors. Xaver was discovered in an office at back of the house.
The chief stated that all victims had died by then.
Hoglund identified two victims, Cynthia Watson (client) and Marisol Lopez (bank clerk). He cited a Florida Victims’ Rights Act version and said that three families don’t want their names revealed.
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Hoglund stated that the community is grieving the loss of “our sisters and mothers, our daughters, and our colleagues”.
After several questions, the authorities closed their press conference and did not answer why Xaver had obtained the gun.
Xaver wore a black and white striped prison uniform to his court appearance on Thursday morning. He was also appointed public defender.
His father stated that he was “heartbroken” by the sacrifice and that his son was not raised in that manner.
He was always a good child. Although he did have problems, he never had any hurt anyone. “It’s a shock,” Josh Xaver said to CNN. Both Zephen Xaver’s parents were not available for interviews by the Associated Press.
Alex Gerlach, Xaver’s ex girlfriend, was not surprised by this. She stated that he was fascinated with the idea of murder for a long time, but that no one took her warnings seriously. Gerlach, a South Bend, Indiana resident, said that he was “always hateful of people and wanted everyone die.”
She said that her ex-boyfriend was kicked out of school after he had a nightmare that he would kill everyone in his class. He also had dreams and fantasies about it. “Everyone I told didn’t take it seriously, which is a shame.
Gerlach said that Xaver told him he bought a gun last week, and that “noone thought about it” since he has always loved the gun.
Xaver’s educational history was controversial. Two northern Indiana school districts claimed that he attended high school but did not graduate. Xaver also studied online at Stevens-Henger College, Salt Lake City. Sherri Martin, a college spokeswoman, confirmed that Xaver was enrolled in the college between September 2018 – December 2018, when he withdrew.
He tried to become a Florida jail warden. Florida Department of Corrections records indicate that he was employed as an intern at Avon Park Correctional Facility in November 2. He resigned on January 9. There were no disciplinary problems.
Official documents and neighbors confirm that Xaver and his mom moved from Plymouth, Indiana to Sebring in the autumn of 1926. It is a small community south of South Bend. They lived in an unassuming prefabricated house located about 4 miles (6.5km) from the bank. After the police had searched the house, no one entered the house on Wednesday night.
John Laroz, who lives next to Xaver, said that he kept him apart but he could hear him shouting at video games during the middle of the night.
This was the fourth mass shooting in Florida where five or more people were killed in the last three years. In 2016, 49 people were killed in Orlando by a gunman. Five of those who died at Fort Lauderdale’s airport in 2017 were also killed. 17 victims died in February at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High school in Fort Lauderdale.
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