Five people have been killed in a recent mass shooting in Florida, this is the 19th mass shootings in the United States this 2019.
A gunman took hostages in a Florida bank, forced them to the floor and began shooting, authorities said.
Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund and Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman briefed reporters but declined to elaborate on the motive for the shooting, which took place around noon at the SunTrust bank in Sebring, about 94 miles southeast of Tampa.
A county negotiation team made contact with the suspect but was unsuccessful in de-escalating the situation, officials said.
Eventually, a SWAT team stormed the bank. The suspect surrendered and was taken into custody, Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said.
The suspect was identified by Hoglund as Zephen Xaver, 21, a Sebring resident. A photo published by the Highlands News-Sun shows police taking a handcuffed white male, wearing a T-shirt and khaki shorts, from the scene.
“It’s been a tragic day in our community. We have suffered a significant loss at the hands of a senseless criminal doing a senseless crime” Hoglund said
Adding that “at least” five people were “senselessly murdered” in the ordeal. It wasn’t clear whether the victims were bank employees or customers.
The gunman apparently entered and locked the bank, then forced customers to lie on the floor.