UPDATED 2019/01/25 3:00PM
Police are still looking for a motive in the case of a Florida man who killed five women in a bank on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019. 21-year-old Zephen Xaver walked into a SunTrust Bank, armed with a handgun and wearing a bulletproof vest, and proceeded to shoot and kill five people executive-style. One woman managed to escape after hearing gunshots from the back room of the bank.
After the shooting, he called 911 and told police, “I have shot five people.” He then barricaded himself inside the bank. When arrested, the shooter was seen in a shirt with a rendering of the four apocalyptic riders. On the back of the shirt were images of a scythe and assault rifle.
The police have no motive for the horrendous act. The victims were a mix of employees and customers and there is no evidence that Xaver targeted them in any way. He had no plans to rob the institution and no connection to anyone in the building.
In documents released by Bremen Police Department in Indiana, officers detailed previous run-ins with the shooter. At 16, the shooter was taken to a behavioral health center after he told a counselor that “he had a dream last night of killing student in a classroom.” He was released after visiting the health center.
Xaver entered US Army basic training in March 2016, but never completed his training–He left within 3 months.
In March 2017, Michigan State Police were alerted when a female student reported disturbing messages from Xaver saying that he was “possibly thinking of suicide by cop” and “taking hostages.” When Officers contacted his mother, she declined police intervention and said that she would speak with her son. These reports are disturbing considering the events that have unfolded.