A former prison guard who recently moved from Indiana to Florida killed five people in a small town bank clash before surrendering to a SWAT team that stormed the building.
Investigators said Zephen Xaver, 21, called police at SunTrust Bank on Wednesday and announced he had opened the fire.
He locked himself in and when the negotiations failed, the SWAT team broke in, captured Xaver and discovered the bodies, police said.
Investigator offered no possible motive, and a police spokesman said he did not know if the attack started as robbery. The victims were not identified immediately because families are still being informed.
"Today was a tragic day in our community," said the Sebring police officer at a press conference. "We have suffered a significant loss from a pointless criminal who committed a pointless crime."
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit organization that grants public access to information about violent violence on the Internet, the attack at Sebring is the 1
The Gun Rampart Act defines mass shooting as a single event in which four or more people are shot or killed except the attacker.
An Eventless Past
According to public figures and neighbors, Xaver arrived last autumn with his mother in Sebring, in a blank, prefabricated house about 6.5 km from the bank. Public records and neighbors say he and his mother moved to Sebring in the fall from Plymouth, Indiana, a town south of Notre Dame University.
Nobody answered the police on Wednesday night when the police searched the house.
John Larose, who lives next door, said Xaver thought himself alone, but he could hear that he was playing and screaming at video games in the middle of the night.
Xaver was a short online student at Stevens-Henager College in Salt Lake City. A spokesperson for the college, Sherrie Martin, confirmed that Xaver was registered from September 2018 until his resignation in December 2018.
The Florida Department of Corrections records that Xaver was hired as a jailer at the Avon Park Correctional Institution on November 2, and resigned on January 9. No disciplinary matters were reported.
"Quick and Just Justice"
Governor Ron DeSantis was in the region for an infrastructure tour and traveled to Sebring after being shot.
He said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would assist the police of Sebring and the sheriff's office of Highlands County.
"Obviously this is a person who has to face a very fast and strict judiciary," DeSantis said of the suspect.
SunTrust Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers issued a statement stating that the bank "worked with civil servants to fully address the needs of all individuals and families involved." The "whole team of the bank mourns this terrible loss," he said.
Al Jazeera and news agencies