Three people were killed and two others injured Thursday when a gunman opened fire at the Fifth Third Center in downtown Cincinnati, according to authorities.
The gunman, identified as 29-year-old Omar Perez, died in a shootout with police.
Update 3:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 7: Authorities on Friday continued searching for a motive behind Perez’s attack after conducting a search warrant on his home one day earlier.
“(There was) nothing that obviously stood out as to motive, however, we will be doing some further examination,” police Chief Eliot Isaac said Friday at a news conference. “We have not been able to determine what his actual motive was.”
Investigators believe Perez had lived in Cincinnati since at least 2015. He had no local criminal history, although Isaac said he had a “brief misdemeanor criminal history in South Carolina and in Palm Beach County, Florida.”
Isaac said Perez had filed a lawsuit against NBC Universal and TD Ameritrade and that he might have planned to make his way to the nearby federal courthouse. He walked into several businesses in the area before he entered the Fifth Third Center around 9:06 a.m. and opened fire, Isaac said. Surveillance camera footage released Friday showed Perez indiscriminately shooting in the building’s lobby as unarmed security officers helped bystanders get to safety.
Police said Thursday that Perez initially opened fire in a loading dock at the Fifth Third Center, but Isaac said that subsequent investigation revealed that two of the people shot by Perez actually fled to the loading dock area.
Officers could hear shots being fired as they approached the building Thursday morning. Body camera footage showed the officers running toward the scene to engage the gunman.
Four officers opened fire, shooting 11 rounds through the building’s large windows before Perez was subdued. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Isaac said Perez had been carrying a briefcase that held about 250 additional rounds of ammunition. He legally bought the Taurus 9mm semi-automatic handgun used in the attack last month in Cincinnati. After the shooting, police determined that Perez’s gun jammed at some point during the attack. He fired 35 rounds before he was shot and killed by police.
The officers involved in the shooting were identified as Officer Jennifer Chilton, who joined the Cincinnati Police Department in 2008; Officer Antonio Etter, who joined CPD in 2002; Officer Eric Kaminsky, who joined CPD in 1997; and Police Specialist Gregory Toyeas, who joined CPD in 1990.
“I had a chance to speak in-depth with three of the four and they’re all doing well,” Isaac said. “They know they did what they had to do. They were very, you know, very resolved that they were there to save lives and they were very committed to that. As the police chief, as a fellow police officer, as a citizen of this city -- I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Three people died in Thursday’s attack. Police have identified them as Richard Newcomer, 64; Prudhvi Raj Kandepi, 25; and Luis Calderon, 48. Two other people injured in the shooting remained hospitalized Friday.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley praised police, 911 dispatchers and other first responders for their actions Thursday.
“The police saved lives and we owe them all a huge debt of gratitude,” Cranley said. “We need to pray for peace and we also need to take the actions necessary to prevent crazy people from getting guns.”
Update 6:20 p.m. EDT Sept 6: The Cincinnati Police Department released the identifies of the victims in the shooting rampage at a downtown banking center.
Update 4:50 p.m. EDT Sept 6: The shooter in the Cincinnati bank shooting has been identified as Omar Perez, 29, according to WLWT and NBC News, citing police sources.
A neighbor of Perez’s described him as “a nice guy.”
Update 4:15 p.m. EDT Sept 6: One of the victims in the bank shooting in Cincinnati Thursday morning has been identified by his employer as Richard Newcomer, 64, who worked for the Rhode Island-based Gilbane Building Co., according to WCPO-TV.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family," company spokesman Wes Cotter said. "We are shocked and saddened by the events of today."
The identities of the other victims have not been released yet.
Nor has the identity of the gunman.
Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Deters said the suspect had enough ammunition to kill 30 to 40 people.
Deters also said that Cincinnati police officers arrived on the scene at the bank within three minutes of the dispatch call.
It’s still unclear if police, who shot through the glass window in the lobby, killed the gunman or if he took his own life.
Update 2:25 p.m. EDT Sept. 6: The identity of the gunman who opened fire Thursday has not been released, but police Lt. Steve Saunders told WCPO he was not a current or former employee of Fifth Third Bank.
The man opened fire at a loading dock at the Fifth Third Center, the building that houses the bank’s headquarters, before continuing the shooting in the center’s lobby, police Chief Eliot Isaac said.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley praised law enforcement for their quick actions to stop the gunman. Earlier he said a police bullet killed the gunman, although Isaac said it was unclear pending an autopsy.
"Random mass shootings, which plague our Nation, are not normal and we as a Country can't allow them to be normalized," Cranley said. "This is an American problem, that we as Americans must solve by putting ideology last and human life first."
Update 1 p.m. EDT Sept. 6: Officials with Fifth Third Bank shared sympathies for those affected by Thursday’s shooting at the bank’s headquarters building in downtown Cincinnati.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone caught up in this terrible event,” company officials said in a statement. “We continue to work with law enforcement as we ensure the safety of our employees and customers.”
Update 11:35 a.m. EDT Sept. 6: Police said two people were injured in Thursday’s deadly shooting at the Fifth Third Center in downtown Cincinnati.
Officials with University of Cincinnati Medical Center said four people injured in the incident were taken to the hospital, identified only as three men and a woman. Two of the patients later died, officials said.
Of the other two patients, one was in critical condition and the other in serious condition Thursday.
Police Chief Eliot Isaac said officers found one person dead at the scene of Thursday’s shooting.
Update 11:25 a.m. EDT Sept. 6: Police Chief Eliot Isaac said officers were called around 9:10 a.m. to respond to reports the shooting.
He said a man, who was not identified, entered a loading dock at the Fifth Third Center and opened fire. The gunman moved to the lobby, where the shooting continued.
He was confronted by officers, who returned fire, Isaac said. The man was killed, although Isaac said it was unclear whether he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound or a police bullet.
The scene was secure by 11 a.m.
It was not immediately clear what prompted Thursday’s attack. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said the gunman was “actively shooting innocent victims.” He described the scene as “horrific.”
Update 11 a.m. EDT Sept. 6: Police confirmed at a news conference Thursday that three people were killed when a gunman opened fire in Cincinnati. Two other people were hospitalized, according to authorities.
The gunman, who has not been identified, also died, although authorities said it was not immediately clear whether he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound or whether he was killed by a police bullet.
Update 10:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 6: Ohio Gov. John Kasich praised law enforcement Thursday following a reported shooting in downtown Cincinnati.
Update 10:23 a.m. EDT Sept. 6: Cincinnati Councilman Chris Seelbach said on Twitter that two people were killed in Thursday's incident, including the suspected shooter. Police did not immediately confirm the report.
Authorities said the scene remained active as of 10:20 a.m. Thursday.
Update 10:20 a.m. EDT Sept. 6: Officials from several agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the FBI, were on the scene Thursday morning.
Update 9:55 a.m. EDT Sept. 6: Suzanne Dabkowski, a spokeswoman with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, told WCPO that at least three people were injured in Thursday morning’s shooting.
Officials at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center told WCPO they had received four patients in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
Original report: Police said the shooting was reported Thursday morning in the lobby and the loading dock of the Fifth Third Center at 511 Walnut Street.
Authorities did not immediately provide information on any injuries.
The shooting was reported before 9:15 a.m.
Check back for updates to this developing story.
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