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The Latest: Man arrested at bank was a trainee prison guard

January 24, 2019
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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)

SEBRING, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the shooting inside a Florida bank that killed five people (all times local):

9 p.m.

Florida Department of Corrections records show the man arrested at a bank branch where five people were fatally shot was hired as a trainee prison guard in the state in November and resigned two weeks ago.

Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund says 21-year-old Zephen Xaver was arrested Wednesday afternoon at a SunTrust Bank branch in that community. Hoglund says a man had contacted dispatch earlier and reported he had fired shots inside the bank before eventually surrendering after a SWAT team entered the building.

Police didn’t indicate a possible motive for the shooting or say what charges Xaver could face.

Corrections records show Xaver was hired Nov. 2 for the trainee post at Florida’s Avon Park Correctional Institution and resigned Jan. 9. No disciplinary issues were reported.

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7:45 p.m.

Police investigators swarmed well after nightfall around a Florida bank where authorities say five people were fatally shot earlier in the day.

Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said 21-year-old Zephen Xaver was arrested Wednesday afternoon at a SunTrust Bank branch.

He says a man had contacted dispatch and reported he had fired shots inside the bank and eventually surrendered after a SWAT team entered the building. No immediate motive was reported.

Late Wednesday, police could be seen at the bank, located between a hotel and a hair salon in a business district of four-lane U.S. 27.

A few miles (kilometers) away, police on Wednesday evening wrapped up a search at Xaver’s nicely maintained, prefabricated double-wide home — set amid a neighborhood of similar homes.

John Larose, who lives next door, told The Associated Press that Xaver and his mother had moved in several months ago. He says Xaver kept to himself, but he could hear Xaver playing and yelling at video games in the middle of the night

No one answered when an Associated Press reporter knocked at Xaver’s home.

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5 p.m.

Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund says it has been “a tragic day” in his community after the fatal shooting of five people at a bank branch there.

Hoglun said at a news conference that 21-year-old Zephen Xaver was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the SunTrust Bank branch.

The chief says the community is reeling from what he called a “senseless crime.” He didn’t immediately identify the victims but called what happened a “significant loss.”

Authorities haven’t said what charges Xaver could face or indicated a possible motive.

Hoglund says a man called police dispatch Wednesday afternoon and reported that he had fired shots inside the bank. Authorities say initial negotiations failed to get the barricaded man to leave, so a sheriff’s SWAT team entered to continue negotiations, and the man eventually surrendered.

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4:30 p.m.

Authorities say five people have been killed in a shooting at a Florida bank.

Sebring police Chief Karl Hoglund said during a news conference that Zephen Xaver was arrested Wednesday afternoon at a SunTrust Bank branch.

Hoglund says a man contacted dispatch and reported that he had fired shots inside the bank. Police say 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 man eventually surrendered.

Police didn’t say what charges Xaver could face or indicated a possible motive.

The victims were not immediately identified.

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