Four employees among five women killed ‘execution-style’ in horrific Florida bank mass shooting on Jan 23
Casualties included a newlywed, a mother-of-seven, a Sunday school teacher, and a grandma
Cynthia Watson, 65, Marisol Lopez, 55, Debra Cook, 54, Ana Piñon-Williams, 38, and Jessica Montague, 31, were brutally murdered at SunTrust bank in Sebring
Shooter Zephen Xaver, allegedly made the women lie down on the ground, shot them in back of their heads
Xaver, 21, has been charged with five counts of premeditated murder and held without bond
Watson had only just gotten married to the ‘love of her life’ three weeks ago
Montague was a mom-of-five about to celebrate her 1-year wedding anniversary
Piñon-Williams leaves behind seven children, while Cook had two grandchildren
The non-bank staff killed in the shooting, newly wed Cynthia Watson [photo], was known as an animal lover, caring for two Shih Tzus, chickens and goats at her home in Venus
All five women who were killed ‘execution-style’ during a mass shooting at a Florida bank on Wednesday afternoon have now been identified.
Cynthia Lee Watson, 65, Marisol Lopez, 55, Debra Cook, 54, Ana Piñon-Williams, 38, and Jessica Montague, 31, were all brutally murdered at SunTrust Bank on Wednesday.
Zephen Xaver police said, ‘senselessly murdered’ at least five people after walking into a local bank branch in Florida and opened fire The 21-year-old […]
Among the victims were a newlywed, a mother-of-seven, a Sunday school teacher, and a grandmother. Four were employees of the bank and one was a customer.
Zephen Xaver, 21, [left], has been charged with five counts of premeditated murder after he allegedly stormed into the Sebring bank and killed the women. He is being held without bond.
Xaver, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, made all his victims lie down on the lobby floor before shooting them in the backs of their heads, according to an affidavit.
Watson, the sole customer in the bank at the time of the shooting, has just gotten married earlier this month to the ‘love of her life’.
She tied the knot with Tony Watson, her partner of five years, and excitedly announced the news on her Facebook on January 3.
Watson was known as an animal lover, caring for two Shih Tzus, chickens, and goats at her home in Venus.
She also made her own jewelry and often sold them at flea markets and auctions with her best friend Marilyn Martin, who called her ‘one of the absolutely nicest people I’ve ever met’.
‘She’s the first real true friend I ever had,’ Martin told Highland News-Sun. ‘She was one of those people who would do anything for anybody.’
‘It only took about five minutes for me to know that she had the job,’ Lopez recalled.
‘What always stood out about Marisol was her kindness, her giving heart, her sweet spirit, and her willingness to help everyone. She never complained, never lost her temper, and had a work ethic second to none!’
Authorities believe it was a random act and that no one was specifically targeted. It remains unclear if Xaver chose the SunTrust Bank ‘for any particular reason’ but police said there is no evidence he was trying to rob it.
The lone survivor of the shooting was an employee who had been in the bank’s break room just before Xaver walked in. – Escaped out the back door when gunshots first rang out and, after getting outside, called 911.
Shell casings from Xaver’s 9mm handgun were scattered on the floor. It remains unclear if the firearm was obtained legally.
SunTrust banks will observe a moment of silence Friday to honor the five women.
Florida Gov Ron DeSantis has also ordered flags to be flown at half-staff throughout the state in honor of the victims
The moment of silence will begin at 12.36pm, the time that Xaver called 911 on Wednesday and said ‘I have shot five people’.
‘We now begin the healing process,’ Hoglund said. ‘We attempt to make sense of a senseless act. We mourn the loss of our peers, our mothers, and our daughters.’
SWAT drove their armoured vehicle machine right through the door of the bank after the shooting. The extent of the damage to the bank can be seen here on Thursday morning
Xaver allegedly opened fire on SunTrust Bank around 12.30pm on Wednesday.
But Xaver refused to surrender when police descended on the scene of the mass shooting with hostage negotiators, still hoping that people were alive inside. The doors of the bank were locked.
After more than an hour, Hoglund ordered a SWAT team into the building. They had to use an armored vehicle to break through the front doors.