5 dead after shooting inside Florida bank, suspect now in custody

5 dead after shooting inside Florida bank, suspect now in custody

Five people are dead following a shooting and hostage situation inside a SunTrust bank in Sebring, Fla., Wednesday afternoon.

The deaths were confirmed by the Sebring Police Department in a press conference hours after the incident unfolded.

Police officials said a 21-year-old man named Zephen Xaver has been arrested, and they are currently carrying out a “very dynamic and ongoing investigation.” They did not identify the victims.

“A subject contacted dispatch and reported that he had fired shots inside the bank,” the police department had explained on Facebook earlier.

The post added initial negotiations to get the barricaded man to leave the bank were unsuccessful. The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team entered the bank to continue the negotiations, and the suspect eventually surrendered.

Police didn’t indicate Xaver’s possible motive.

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

A spokeswoman 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.”

— With files from The Associated Press and Reuters

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