January 24, 2019 / 1:49 PM / 4 months ago

Florida bank shooter faces murder charges after 5 killed

Jan 24 (Reuters) - A 21-year-old Florida man accused of killing five people in a bank rampage on Wednesday and then calling police to tell them about the shooting has been charged with five counts of premeditated murder in the first degree, according to authorities.

The attack took place at the SunTrust Bank in Sebring, a town of about 10,000 people 95 miles (153 km) south of Orlando, at around 12:30 p.m. ET (1730 GMT) on Wednesday, Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund told reporters.

The suspect, Zephen Xaver, called 911 and said he had shot five people inside the bank, Hoglund said on Wednesday, adding that when police entered the premises, Xaver had barricaded himself inside before surrendering.

According to booking records on the Highlands County sheriff’s website, Xaver was being held without bail on Thursday. Police have not offered any details about a possible motive, but were due to hold another news conference Thursday.

Hoglund said on Wednesday that it had been a “tragic day” for the community. “We’ve suffered significant loss at the hands of a senseless criminal doing a senseless crime,” he said.

No information has been released about the victims, who were the only people in the bank at the time of the shooting, police said. (Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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