Moment of silence held for victims of Florida bank massacre

Five women killed in Sebring Bank mourned by family, community

By Roxy Tyler - Web producer
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The SunTrust Bank branch is seen as law enforcement officials continue to investigate the scene where five people were killed Wednesday in Sebring.

SEBRING, Fla. - SunTrust Banks observed a moment of silence Friday to honor the five women killed when a gunman opened fire inside a Sebring, Florida, branch Wednesday.

Four SunTrust employees and a customer were killed in the bank's lobby. Zephen Xaver, 21, was arrested after a standoff with police and now faces five counts of premeditated murder. State Attorney Brian Haas has said it is likely that he will seek the death penalty.

The moment of silence was set for 12:36 p.m. That was the exact time on Wednesday when Xaver called 911 and told dispatchers he had shot everyone in the bank. The motive remains a mystery.

Four of the five women murdered have been identified. Here is what we know about them to date.

  • Cynthia Watson, 65, was a frequent customer of the bank. Her widower, Tony Watson, said they had just married 23 days ago. He said she "was very hard-working, she never stopped and she took care of everyone."
  • Marisol Lopez, 55, was married and a mother of two. She was working at the time of the killings. Her dedication to her work was shown by her winning the Teller of the Year award for SunTrust several years ago. She's described as a Christian who never lost her temper.
  • Ana Piñon-Williams, 38, was a mother of seven. Her brother-in-law, Tim Williams, said she started working at the bank two weeks before the shooting. People who knew her described her life as truly a light in this world. They said she made it a better place.

  • Jessica Montague, 31, of Avon Park, was a mother of three and an employee at the bank. She and her husband, Jermaine, were married almost a year. In a statement, he said: "She was the greatest woman, mother, and wife that I knew, she bent over backward for anyone. And she had the greatest relationship with her mom." 

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    The fifth victim was 54 and an employee of the bank. Her family chose not to release her name to the public. The request is in accordance with Marsy's Law, which went into effect Jan. 1 and aims to protect crime victims and their families.

     

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