State Attorney Brian Haas speaks to assembled media, Friday, February 8, 2019. (Stephanie Claytor/Spectrum Bay News 9)
SEBRING, Fla. -- The death penalty will be sought against the man charged in the Sebring bank shooting that left five women dead, State Attorney Brian Haas said Friday.Zephen Xaver has been indicted by a grand jury on five charges of first-degree murder, Haas also said Friday.
The five women were killed January 23, execution-style, investigators say, inside a SunTrust bank.
"Anybody that has a family member that's murdered, to them that's the worst case that they can imagine," Haas said. "As state attorney, it's my job to make sure that we're using the death penalty as appropriately as we can in compliance with the law."
"If you look at this situation with the horror of what happened, with five victims, for me it was an obvious conclusion to reach," he said.
State Attorney Brian Haas announces he will seek the death penalty in the SunTrust Mass shooting. 5 women were shot and killed inside. @BN9 pic.twitter.com/JyWobMn6t1
— Stephanie Claytor (@ClaytorReports) February 8, 2019The identities of four of the victims have been released. The fifth victim's name hasn't been released at the family's request, under a new Florida law.
Jessica Montague, 31; Marisol Lopez, 55; Ana Pinon Williams, 38; and Cynthia Watson, 65, were killed in the shooting.
Investigators have not released a motive. The slayings did not appear to be part of a robbery, and Xaver had no apparent connection to the SunTrust branch or the four employees and one customer who were killed, according to Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund.
According to Hoglund, Xaver "overtook the bank by force. He then shot everyone in the bank. After shooting them, he called 911 and told dispatchers that he'd killed everyone in the bank."
Investigators determined the shootings happened in just six minutes, between 12:30 p.m. to 12:36 p.m. Investigators said all victims were shot execution-style in the back of the head.
SunTrust said the bank, located off U.S. Highway 27, will not re-open.
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