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What we know about the Florida bank shooting

21-year-old man accused of opening fire inside Sebring SunTrust

SEBRING, Fla. – As news spread Wednesday of a mass shooting at a Florida bank, people across the country began to wonder why the alleged gunman opened fire and who the victims are.

Authorities in Sebring remained tight-lipped into the evening, confirming little other than the accused gunman's name and a vague description of what happened inside the SunTrust.

Below are the few facts we know about the shooting, provided by authorities and other media outlets.

  • The incident began at about 12:36 p.m. when 21-year-old Zephen Xaver called a nonemergency line to report that he had opened fire inside a bank on U.S. 27 South, Sebring Police Department Cmdr. Curtis Hart said.
  • With the alleged shooter still inside, a SWAT team was called to surround the bank and eventually breach a wall to gain entry. Inside, authorities said they found five people dead.
  • Hart said Xaver surrendered and was taken away in handcuffs.
  • The mass shooting marks Florida's seventh in less than three years, reports News 6 partner Florida Today.
  • At 4:30 p.m., authorities held a news conference announcing that an arrest had been made but it's unclear when the standoff ended. Video posted by witness Brandon Mikell at 2:33 p.m. showed a man being taken out in handcuffs.
  • Officials from SunTrust said they are deeply saddened by the shooting. "We are working with officials and dedicating ourselves to fully addressing the needs of all the individuals and families involved.  Our entire team mourns this terrible loss," a statement read.

Still, much remains unknown about the shooting and authorities have said that no further information will be provided until Thursday. Below is a list of things we still don't know about the attack:

  • No motive has been released. It's unknown if Xaver has any kind of criminal history, what type of gun he allegedly used and whether he legally owned that firearm. It's unclear what charges he'll face.
  • The five victims have not been unidentified. It's unknown if they were bank employees or patrons. Police said they were the only five people in the bank at the time of the shooting.
  • Hart said Xaver called authorities to say that he'd opened fire inside the bank but the exact content and duration of that call is unknown.

 

 


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