Multiple People Killed During Hostage Situation at Florida Bank After Suspect Calls 911 on Himself

January 23, 2019Jan 23, 2019

At least five people were killed during a hostage situation at a Florida bank on Tuesday.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, an armed man opened fire at a SunTrust Bank in Sebring, southeast of Tampa. 

When authorities arrived, they were unable to get the gunman to surrender or give up his hostages. He only surrendered after a SWAT team entered the building.

According to the Miami Herald, the suspect, a 21-year-old local man named Zephen Xaver, actually called 911 to report his own shooting around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Businesses and schools in the area were put in lockdown during the incident.

"We are working closely with officials and seeking to take care of everyone affected. We will provide more information as soon as we can," said Sue Mallino, SunTrust's Chief Communications Officer.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote on Twitter, "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."

DeSantis appeared with authorities, who gave more details during an afternoon press conference.

The suspect's motive is unknown at this time.

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