Yesterday at 12:30 p.m., officers responded to a 9-1-1 call from inside a SunTrust bank location in Sebring, Florida, about 80 miles south of Orlando.
“I have shot five people,” the caller stated. According to reports, there were only five people in the bank at the time, and 21-year-old Zephen Xaver forced them to lie on the ground before killing them. In response to his call, a SWAT team arrived to find that Xaver had barricaded himself inside the bank, refusing to come out. The SWAT team stormed the building, after which Xaver did surrender and is now in custody.
“I’m heartbroken for my son,” said Josh Xaver, Zephen Xaver’s father, who lives in Indiana. “I’m heartbroken for the victims.”
“He wasn’t raised to be like this. He’s always been a good kid. He’s had his troubles,” he said without giving details, “but he has never hurt anyone ever before.”
He said Xaver moved to Florida about a year ago. Neighbors as well as public records report the same, saying Xaver arrived in Sebring last fall with his mother and moved into a pre-fabricated home four miles from the bank. No one answered the door yesterday night, and police searched the home.
Next-door neighbor John Larose said Xaver kept to himself, but he could sometimes hear him yelling late at night while playing video games.
According to ABC, Xaver was briefly employed as a trainee prison guard at Avon Park Correctional Institution and resigned on January 9 with no reported disciplinary issues.
A press conference is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. EST today, after which we should have some more updates.
Here is a video of Xaver’s court appearance today, in which it is announced that he is being held without bond on five counts of felony capital murder: