Florida bank shooter faces murder charges after 5 killed

Jan 24 (Reuters) - A 21-year-old Florida man accused of killing five people in a bank rampage on Wednesday and then calling police to tell them about the shooting has been charged with five counts of premeditated murder in the first degree, according to authorities.

The attack took place at the SunTrust Bank in Sebring, a town of about 10,000 people 95 miles (153 km) south of Orlando, at around 12:30 p.m. ET (1730 GMT) on Wednesday, Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund told reporters.

The suspect, Zephen Xaver, called 911 and said he had shot five people inside the bank, Hoglund said on Wednesday, adding that when police entered the premises, Xaver had barricaded himself inside before surrendering.

Related: Shooting at SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida:

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Shooting at SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida
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Shooting at SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida
A Sebring, Fla., police officer stands near a Highlands County Sheriff's SWAT vehicle that is stationed in front of a SunTrust Bank branch, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla., where authorities say five people were shot and killed. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
This undated photo provided by the Highlands County Sheriff's Office shows Zephen Xaver. Xaver opened fire inside a Florida bank Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, killing several people before surrendering to a SWAT team, police said. (Highlands County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Law enforcement officials take cover outside the SunTrust Bank branch, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla. Authorities say they've arrested a man who fired shots inside the Florida bank. (Highlands NewsSun via AP)
A sheriff's department armored vehicle is shown at the SunTrust Bank branch, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla. Authorities say they've arrested a man who fired shots inside the Florida bank. (Highlands NewsSun via AP)
Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund wipes his head as he listens to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speak during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla., after authorities said five people were shot and killed at a SunTrust bank branch. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Law enforcement officials take cover outside the SunTrust Bank branch, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla. Authorities say they've arrested a man who fired shots inside the Florida bank. (Highlands NewsSun via AP)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, gestures as he speaks during a news conference alongside Sebring, Fla., police chief Karl Hoglund, left, and Highlands County sheriff Paul Blackman, right, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla., after authorities said five people were shot and killed at a SunTrust bank branch. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
A Highlands County Sheriff's SWAT vehicle is stationed out in front of a SunTrust Bank branch, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla., where authorities say five people were shot and killed. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Law enforcement officials stand out in front of a SunTrust Bank branch, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla., where authorities say five people were shot and killed (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leaves a news conference with Highlands County sheriff Paul Blackman, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla., after authorities said five people were shot and killed at a SunTrust Bank branch. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Law enforcement officers look over papers out in front of a SunTrust bank, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla., where authorities say five people were shot and killed (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Law enforcement officers stand near a Florida Department of Law Enforcement vehicle that is parked in front of SunTrust Bank branch, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla., where authorities say five people were shot and killed. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Law enforcement officials climb out a FBI mobile command center vehicle that is parked in front of a SunTrust Bank branch, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Sebring, Fla., where authorities say five people were shot and killed. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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According to booking records on the Highlands County sheriff's website, Xaver was being held without bail on Thursday. Police have not offered any details about a possible motive, but were due to hold another news conference Thursday.

Hoglund said on Wednesday that it had been a "tragic day" for the community. "We've suffered significant loss at the hands of a senseless criminal doing a senseless crime," he said.

No information has been released about the victims, who were the only people in the bank at the time of the shooting, police said.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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