UPDATE: Authorities say SunTrust bank shooting was “random act”

State / Regional


UPDATE: Florida authorities say they have no motive for why Zephen Xaver shot five people in a SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida. They described the shooting as a “random act.”


A judge refused to grant bond to a man accused of opening fire inside a Sebring bank Wednesday and killing five people.

21-year-old Zephen Xaver appeared in a Sebring County courtroom Thursday morning dressed in black-and-white striped jail inmate uniform.

The judge did not grant bond for Xaver, who kept his head down during most of the proceeding.

Xaver reported having no assets and a public defender was assigned to him.

Sebring police officials say Xaver called 911 around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and reported that he had fired shots inside the SunTrust Bank on US-27 South in Sebring.

The phone call resulted in a massive police response, local roads were closed while a SWAT team responded and Xaver eventually surrendered.


Five people were killed inside the bank. Their identities have not been released.

NBC News reported that families and coworkers of the victims talked to grief counselers at a local hotel overnight.

NBC News said that all of the victims were women. Four of the victims worked at the bank and the fifth victim was a customer. One of the slain bank workers was just hired weeks ago and is the mother of two small children.

Suspect Zephen Xaver lives minutes away from the bank.

Authorities have not mentioned a motive for the killings.

The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office will release more details at a news conference Thursday at 11 am.

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