Four people died Thursday when a lone gunman opened fire in the lobby of the Fifth Third Center in Downtown Cincinnati.
Police Chief Eliot Isaac said the gunman, identified as 29-year-old Omar Enrique Perez, began firing inside the building around 9:11 a.m., striking five victims before law enforcement arrived on scene. Four officers shot at Perez, killing him, Isaac said.
“Their bravery and heroic actions stopped this shooter before his rampage could cause more harm,” he told reporters during a news conference Thursday.
One victim died at the scene and two others succumbed to their injuries at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Isaac said. Two others — including a woman shot 12 times — remain hospitalized.
Mayor John Cranley condemned the violence in a statement to reporters Thursday, saying “we as a country have to end it.”
“A fear that has plagued so many cities hit home today and it’s hard for it all to sink in, but it really did happen,” he said. “We will get through this together.”
Isaac said its unclear why Perez carried out the attack, though investigators are currently combing through evidence at his home in North Bend, approximately 15 miles west of downtown Cincinnati.
“There may be a possibility that there’s some mental health issues involved here, but again, the investigation is only hours old,” he said.
Police found a 9mm semiautomatic handgun, multiple magazines and close to 200 rounds of ammunition on Perez at the scene. Isaac said the gun was purchased legally.
The Fifth Third Bank spoke out on social media, expressing concern for the victims shot in its headquarters building. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone caught up in this terrible event,” the statement says.
Isaac said video footage of the shooting — captured on officer body cameras, building and street surveillance cameras — is aiding in the investigation. More details will be released Friday.
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