January 23, 2019 5:03 pm
Updated: January 24, 2019 12:48 pm

5 dead after shooting inside Florida bank, 21-year-old suspect arrested

WATCH: Law enforcement officials in Sebring, Fla. describe the events where 21-year-old Zephen Xaver shot everyone inside SunTrust Bank on Wednesday.


Five people are dead following a shooting and hostage situation inside a SunTrust bank in Sebring, Fla., Wednesday afternoon.

The deaths were confirmed by the Sebring Police Department in a press conference hours after the incident unfolded.

Police officials said a 21-year-old man named Zephen Xaver has been arrested, and they are currently carrying out a “very dynamic and ongoing investigation.” They did not identify the victims.

“A subject contacted dispatch and reported that he had fired shots inside the bank,” the police department had explained on Facebook earlier.

WATCH: Law enforcement officials in Sebring, Fla. say there is no information that the suspect was intending to rob the bank.

The post added initial negotiations to get the barricaded man to leave the bank were unsuccessful. The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team entered the bank to continue the negotiations, and the suspect eventually surrendered.

Police didn’t indicate Xaver’s possible motive.

This undated photo provided by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office shows Zephen Xaver.

Highlands County Sheriff's Office via AP

The Highlands County Sheriff’s Department told the New York Times that Xaver would be charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

Not all victims have been identified, and the families of the ones who have, have not yet been notified, the Times added.

Xaver was an online student at Stevens-Henager College in Utah from September to December before he withdrew, a spokesperson for the college said.

WATCH: Suspect in Florida bank shooting identified as Zephen Xaver 

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In November, he was hired to work at Avon Park Correctional Institution, a Florida Department of Corrections prison, before he resigned earlier this month, FloridaToday.com reported, citing state officials.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he has asked the state’s department of law enforcement to assist local police officials in the investigation.

A spokeswoman for the bank, Sue Mallino, said, “We are working closely with officials and seeking to take care of everyone affected at our Sebring, Florida branch.”

WATCH: Police, paramedics enter SunTrust bank in Sebring, FL after shots fired 

Here’s a statement from SunTrust, as reported by the Highlands News-Sun:

— With files from Reuters and The Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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