SunTrust Bank Shooting, Sebring, Florida
When: January 23, 2019
Location: SunTrust Bank , Sebring, Florida
Attacker: Zephen Xaver, 21
Victims: 5 dead
Weapon(s): 9mm semi-automatic pistol
Type of attacker: Unidentified type, but likely mental health issues
On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 21-yr-old Zephen Xaver walked into a SunTrust Branch Bank wearing a tee shirt and khaki shorts. He was wielding a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and wore a bullet proof vest. He took over the bank by force which included five women – four were employees and one was a customer. He then ordered the five women lie face down on the floor He then shot each woman in the back of the head and upper torso. All five were killed. Xaver then called 911 and reported that he had shot five people at the SunTrust Bank in Sebring. He did not surrender when the police arrived. After one hour of negotiation, the police stormed the bank with a vehicle through the front doors and found the shooter hiding in a back room.
There was no known connection of Xaver to the bank, its employees, or the customer. There was no indication that he tried to rob the bank. He was a former prison guard trainee. He was known to have issues in the past and was expelled from high school earlier for having apparent persistent thoughts and dreams of killing “everyone” in high school.
Kelly Bazzle, “Sebring bank shooting: Five women killed, two identified,” ABC Action News, January 24, 2019.
Doug Stanglin, “5 People ‘senselessly murdered’ after gunman takes hostages in Sebring, Fla., Bank,” USA Today, January 23, 2019.