Jacksonville man was close friend of woman killed in bank shooting

Jessica Montague, 31, was 1 of 5 killed in the SunTrust branch in Sebring

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Authorities on Friday confirmed the name of a fourth woman slain when a gunman opened fire inside a Florida bank. A Jacksonville man told News4Jax he was one of her close childhood friends.

The Highlands County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post Friday that 31-year-old Jessica Eileen Noreen Montague of Avon Park was killed Wednesday at the SunTrust branch in Sebring. 

Montague was one of four bank employees killed, along with one customer. She was a mother and a wife who had many friends, including Dwayne Quick.

Quick, an airline pilot who moved from Sebring to Jacksonville, said Montague was one of his closest schoolmates. He frequently kept in touch with Montague and her family members.

"She liked to sing, and I was the piano player, so, it was cool to be around the piano and do music," Quick said. "Not only with her but her family."

Quick said he will never forget the moment he learned there was a shooting at the bank where his friend worked. He said he was just getting off work when his phone rang.

"One of my friends called and said, 'Hey man, it's not looking good.' So we just stayed tight then later that night, it was confirmed through a friend." Quick said. "I just dropped to the floor in disbelief," 

Sheriff's Office spokesman Scott Dressel said a fifth bank employee was in the break room when the attack began. He said the employee ran out a back door after hearing gunshots and also contacted law enforcement.

Zephen Xaver was charged with five counts of premeditated murder in the shooting.

"There's just a lot of anger," Quick said. "It's still a sense of disbelief."

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