Highlands County officials were joined by state officials this morning for a press conference. They addressed an incident at the south SunTruast Bank building yesterday where five people were shot and killed.
The families of three of the victims have asked that they not be identified under “Marcy’s Law.” Two of the victims have been identified. They are Cynthia Lee Watson, a customer, and Marisol Lopez, a bank teller. All five of the fatalities reportedly were women. Four of them were bank employees.
The suspect, identified as 21-year-old Zephan Xaver has been charged with five counts of first degree murder. Authorities say they will pursue “the highest penalty possible” in connection with the case.
Law enforcement authorities say they currently are reviewing bank surveillance video. They say at this time, no motive has been determined.
Meanwhile, the US Sport Aviation Expo continues today at the Sebring Regional Airport. As part of today’s activities, The Expo’s Show Center officially has been named after Bob Wood – one of the five people who conceived and launched the event more than a decade and a half ago.
Events today include workshops, panel discussions, demonstration flights, musical performances and dozens of exhibitors on and around Airplane Avenue. The Expo runs thru Saturday.
The Coast Guard is searching for a crew member from a cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida. In a statement, the Coast Guard said the Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas alerted authorities early Thursday that a 26-year-old crewmember had gone overboard. The ship was about 40 miles east of Florida’s Hillsboro Inlet.
Commissioners in Hallandale are reprimanding a fellow council member over remarks on a Facebook post about the first Palestinian-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Hallandale Beach commissioners voted Wednesday to condemn Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub for writing that U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Detroit, might become “a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.” Lima-Taub remains unapologetic, telling commissioners her life is in danger.