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On January 23, 2019, at around 12:30 pm, five women – four employees and a customer – were shot and killed at the SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida. After being named a suspect, 21-year-old Zephen Xaver turned himself in to police.[1] He has pleaded not guilty to five murders.[2]

2019 Sebring shooting
LocationSunTrust Bank; Sebring, Florida
DateJanuary 23, 2019
Attack type
Mass shooting
Weapons9mm handgun
Suspected perpetrator
Zephen A. Xaver



At around 12:30 pm, a witness says he saw a man pacing back and forth inside the bank with five people lying side by side on the floor. Shots were later heard, and a man phoned the police at 12:36 pm ET,[3] and told responders that he had shot five people.[4] SWAT arrived, trying to negotiate to get the barricaded suspect to leave the bank. When those negotiations failed, members of the SWAT team entered the bank by ramming an armored vehicle through its glass front doors.[5] The suspect eventually surrendered.[6]

The lone survivor of the shooting was a bank employee who had been in the bank's break room just before the gunman walked in. The employee escaped out the back door when gunshots first rang out; after getting outside, he called 911.[3]


Five women were discovered by police, shot execution style in their heads and backs. They were identified over the week as:

  • Debra Cook, 54, employee
  • Marisol Lopez, 55, employee
  • Jessica Montague, 31, employee
  • Cynthia Watson, 65, customer
  • Ana Piñon-Williams, 37, employee


Zephen A. Xaver, age 21[5] was identified as the perpetrator after surrendering to officers. He was identified as a former Florida Department of Corrections correctional officer trainee, with the Avon Park Correctional Institution near the Avon Park Air Force Range but resigned on January 9, 2019.[7]

Xaver was charged with five counts of capital murder is being held by police without bond. He was appointed a public defender as he had no income or assets.[8] On February 22, he entered a plea of not guilty in the case against him. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Suarez Sang, Lucia I. (January 24, 2019). "Motive unknown in Florida bank shooting, gunman no connection to victims: police". Fox News. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Press, The Associated. "Sebring bank massacre suspect Zephen Xaver enters not guilty plea". The Ledger. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  3. ^ a b "One employee escaped Florida bank massacre by running out back door, sheriff's office says". WFTS. 2019-01-25. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  4. ^ Levenson, Eric (January 24, 2019). "Sebring Florida Bank incident". CNN. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Florida Bank Shooting: Victims Are Identified as Details of 5 Killings Emerge
  6. ^ Mettler, Katie (January 24, 2019). "A man opened fire in a Florida bank, killing five. Authorities still don't know why". Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  7. ^ Gallop, J.D. (January 23, 2019). "Sebring, Florida, shooting: Who is Zephen Xaver, suspect accused of killing five at SunTrust Bank". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  8. ^ CNN, Faith Karimi and Hollie Silverman. "Florida bank shooting suspect had dreams of killing students, police say". CNN. Retrieved 2019-02-05.