SEBRING, Fla. — Multiple people were shot in a hostage situation at a SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida, according to Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell.
Elwell confirmed there were injuries in the incident. The suspect has been taken into custody, police said.
Authorities are holding a news conference now. Here is what we’re learning:
- At least five people were killed in the shooting, Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said.
It was unclear if those injured were bank employees or customers inside the bank during the incident.
Overhead video of the scene from CNN affiliate WFLA showed a heavy police presence, several ambulances and a large SWAT vehicle. Medical personnel entered the bank after the glass entrance to it was destroyed.
The incident began when a man called police at 12:36 p.m. and said he had fired shots inside the bank, according to police. Sebring Police and Highlands County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene, according to police.
Initial negotiations to try to get the barricaded subject to exit the bank were not successful, so a SWAT team entered the bank and continued negotiations. The suspect eventually surrendered to the SWAT team, police said.
There was no danger to the surrounding area, police said. US-27 was shut down in both directions near the bank due to the incident. Law enforcement officials will provide more details at a 4:30 p.m. ET news conference, Elwell said.
Both the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are assisting in the case. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted that he spoke with Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman and FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen and offered them all the support they may need.
Two area hospitals, Highlands Regional Medical Center and Florida Heartland hospital, said they have not received any patients from the shooting.
“We are working closely with officials and seeking to take care of everyone affected,” said SunTrust’s Chief Communications Officer Sue Mallino. “We will provide more information as soon as we can.”
Family members, co-workers, and friends looking to reunite with loved ones after the incident were gathering at the nearby Inn on the Lakes, according to Yanique Blackellar, the front desk manager of the inn.
Sebring is in Highlands County in the south-central part of the state, and had a population of just over 10,000 people as of the 2010 US Census. The SunTrust Bank is along US-27, between Lake Jackson and Little Lake Jackson.