CINCINNATI (WKRC) - An active shooter situation in downtown Cincinnati at the Fifth Third Center Thursday morning left three people dead and two injured.
The gunman is also dead. Police have identified him as 29-year-old Omar Enrique Santa-Perez. Police believe he acted alone. Authorities are currently searching his apartment in North Bend.
Santa-Perez was not a current or former employee of Fifth Third Bank.
The scene unfolded around 9 a.m. after police were called to the Fifth Third Center on Walnut Street. Chief Eliot said Santa-Perez entered through the loading dock and opened fire. He then went up to the lobby where he and police exchanged fire.
It only took minutes for police to respond, but Santa-Perez had already shot five people. One person died at the scene. Four others were transported to UC Medical Center where two later died. Of the surviving victims, one is in fair condition; the other is in critical. Police shot and killed Santa-Perez.
Santa-Perez's car was also found downtown Thursday night. Local 12 was there as police searched it.
The employer of one of the victims also confirmed his identity to Local 12. He is Richard Newcomer, 64.
Local 12 has also confirmed the name of the two other victims: 25-year-old Pruthvi Raj Kandepi and 48-year-old Luis Felipe Calderón.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters told Local 12 that investigators have learned the gunman has some mental issues.
Deters said Santa-Perez was armed with a 9 mm handgun and about 200 rounds of ammunition.
A witness told Local 12 that SWAT was moving through the building to check for victims and make sure everything is clear. At about 11:20 a.m. people inside Fifth Third were allowed to leave the building. Another witness told Local 12 he heard six to 12 gunshots two separate times and saw two of the victims.
Later Thursday, Chief Issac got a standing ovation at the afternoon's City Council meeting for his leadership during the investigation. Councilman Wendell Young also thanked the police and fire first responders who were on the scene almost immediately.
"We don't know how many lives you saved, but we can all pretty much guess that body count would've been a lot higher but for the brave intervention of our first responders," Young said.
"The police department saved lives today, the fire department saved lives today [by] running into an active shooting situation, which could have been, as bad as it is, much worse," said Mayor John Cranley.
"It just rattles me to my core, but thank God that we have men and women in blue who look out for us -- who keep us safe," said Councilman Jeff Pastor.
Several streets surrounding the Fountain Square area were blocked off as police investigate. As of 2 p.m., only Fifth Street remained closed. The buildings in the area had been under lockdown.
On Thursday, Fifth Third issued this statement:
Earlier today, an active shooter entered our headquarters building in downtown Cincinnati. The situation is contained and the shooter is no longer a threat. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone caught up in this terrible event. We continue to work with law enforcement as we ensure the safety of our employees and customers. We are grateful for the support and concerns from our neighbors throughout Cincinnati and the country.
The Cincinnati division of the FBI also released a statement to offer their condolences and thank first responders:
We join the community in mourning those lost during the tragic events in Cincinnati today. As members of this great community, we know that our city is full of people who are strong, compassionate and resilient. We are also thankful for all the first responders who acted bravely to prevent further loss of life.
Cincinnati police said victim services is available through the department's Victims Assistance Liaison Unit. You can call 513-352-6421 for more information.
Humana is also offering support to those affected by the shooting. They are opening up a crisis hotline to the general public to offer free and confidential counseling. That number is 1-888-673-1154 and it will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.