At least five people have been killed after a gunman burst into a bank and opened fire, before calling cops to say what he had done.
The violent attack took place at a Sun Trust bank in Sebring, central Florida, Wednesday afternoon, and ended with the gunman – named as 21 year-old Zephen Xaver – surrendering himself to SWAT teams.
Florida Governor Ron De Santis called the shooting a ‘terrible day for Florida.’
Meanwhile, Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund confirmed the shooter’s name, added: ‘We’ve suffered a significant loss at the hands of a senseless criminal committing a senseless crime.’ No motive for the shooting has been offered, with law enforcement officers refusing to take questions afterwards.
The shooter to have dialed 911 after the shooting around 12:30pm EST, before surrendering himself into police custody after a stand-off with a SWAT team.
News footage shows the front of the building badly damaged, with floor to ceiling windows smashed and twisted metal windowframes strewn across the sidewalk.
The gunman is said to have refused to surrender to police, prompting SWAT officers to storm the building, at which point he finally handed himself in. It is unclear whether those reported to have been shot were bank workers or customers in the building at the time.
Relatives of bank workers asked to gather at a local hotel to await information on their loved ones. The local sheriff’s department will hold a press conference at 4:30pm EST.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said afterwards: ‘Spoke to both Sheriff Paul Blackman and FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen regarding the tragic shooting in Sebring and offered all the support they may need. Casey and I are praying for the victims and their families.’
Law enforcement officials pictured at the scene of Wednesday’s shooting. It is still unclear how many people have been injured in the attack (Picture: Twitter)
And Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronnis tweeted: ‘Absolutely horrific events in Sebring today.
‘I have reached out to Sheriff Blackman to offer continued support of my law enforcement officers who immediately responded to the scene. Please keep this community in your prayers.’