Police have identified 29-year-old Omar Perez as the suspect in a shooting in Cincinnati that left three people dead and five others injured. Perez was shot by police and has died, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac confirmed during a press conference held just after 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. A motive for the shooting is unknown.
The shooting was reported at 9:11 a.m. on September 6. The scene was deemed secure about 15 minutes later. Multiple victims were located near 511 Walnut Street in the Ohio city near the Fifth Third Center bank building, and many were transported to a nearby hospital. The FBI and ATF were at the scene and were assisting in the investigation, which authorities say is still ongoing.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was Wearing Business Casual Attired & Carrying a Briefcase, According to Witnesses
Witnesses told Good Morning Cincinnati reporter Perry Schaible that Perez was wearing “business casual” attire and entered the bank building carrying a briefcase.
During a press conference held on Thursday afternoon, Chief Isaac said that Perez was carrying a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. He had “multiple magazines” and approximately “200 rounds” of ammunition on his person. Chief Isaac said that the gun was legally purchased.
Perez lived in North Bend, Ohio, about 16 miles outside of downtown Cincinnati. Chief Isaac said that law enforcement believes that Perez lived in the area since 2015. Police arrived at his residence a couple of hours after the shooting and were searching the apartment for additional information.
Not long after the initial active shooter reports started coming in, it was reported the suspect was taken into custody. ABC’s Stephanie Wash tweeted that the suspect exchanged gunfire with law enforcement before being arrested at the scene.
“An active shooter this morning at Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati has injured at least 3, per law enforcement. The suspect is in custody and they are now working on sweeping the large building in downtown Cincy. Initial reports indicate an exchange of gunfire w/ law enforcement,” Wash tweeted.
As more information became available, however, it was reported that Perez had been shot and that he was deceased. An update from Cincinnati Councilman Chris Seelbach confirmed that Perez had died.
2. He Was Shot by Police Multiple Times & Fell to the Ground in the Lobby of Fifth Third Bank
The first reports of an active shooter appeared on social media just after 9 a.m. Eastern. The shooting occurred in the lobby of Fifth Third Bank, located at 38 Fountain Square Plaza. There were also shots fired on the loading dock, according to the Cincinnati Police Department.
Police arrived on the scene within minutes of the first shots being fired, Chief Eliot K. Isaac said during a press conference. Shots were fired “downstairs” before the suspect moved to the lobby of the bank. It is believed that the suspect then went outside to a loading dock and continued firing shots.
“Multiple officers responded to the scene…as the officers approached the lobby area of the Fifth Third Center, they encountered a lone gunman actively firing shots in the first floor lobby of the Fifth Third building. Four of the responding officers engaged the shooter with their firearms, striking him multiple times, causing him to fall to the ground,” Chief Isaac said during Thursday afternoon’s press conference. The suspect was handcuffed at the scene, but was pronounced dead a short time later.
3. The Area Around the Fifth Third Center Was Locked Down
Law enforcement officials have blocked off the area surrounding Fifth Third Bank in Fountain Square Plaza. Police arrived to the scene quickly and were able to secure the surrounding area. They went through the Fifth Third Bank building floor by floor to ensure that the building was safe and secure.
“Cincinnati police units are still actively clearing the scene in the 500 block of Walnut St. related to the active shooter investigation. People in the immediate vicinity should remain on lockdown until further notice,” Cincinnati Police Department tweeted in a recent update.
The Fifth Third Center building is a centerpiece of downtown Cincinnati, located in the heart of the city. The skyscraper is the headquarters of Fifth Third Bank. The 439-foot building is the fifth-largest in the city and opened in Fountain Square in 1969. The building is also home to several commercial offices.
Fifth Third Bank released the following statement following today’s incident.
4. Victims Were Found on the Street Outside of the Building & in a Nearby Ice Cream Shop
Initial reports indicated that there were multiple victims. UC Medical Center confirmed they have received four victims, according to Fox 19.
The Cincinnati Police Department confirmed that three people have died, not including the suspect. Five others have been injured, and some of them are in critical condition.
One victim was found at 5th and Walnut streets and another was located inside the nearby Graeter’s ice cream shop, according to police.
According to Cincinnati.com, three men and one woman were transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Two of those victims died at the hospital. One is currently listed in critical condition and one is listed in serious condition. All of the victims suffered gunshot wounds.
“Our physicians and staff are focused on caring for the patients and their families. We prepare for situations like these and hope they never happen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all involved,” Amanda Nageleisen, UC Health spokeswoman, told Cincinnati.com.
Chief Isaac said that five victims were shot by the suspect before he was taken down by law enforcement. Four of those victims were taken to University Hospital, and one was “determined to be deceased at the scene.” Two of the four victims later died from their injuries.
One of the deceased victims has been identified as 64-year-old Richard Newcomer. He worked as a superintendent overseeing steel tradesmen at construction sites for Gilbane Building Company, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
5. Witnesses Say They Heard Several Gunshots & Thought It Was a ‘Joke’ at First
“Witness was sitting in Fountain Square when teens outside Fifth Third Bank yelled that there was a shooter. He thought it was a joke. Then he saw a man in white shirt and brown pants holding a gun and heard ’rounds of gunfire.’ ‘I saw a guy in a white shirt walking around and shooting like this’ (the witness held up his right arm straight in front of him) ‘bing bing bing bing.’ He ran. He said he’s a visitor from Germany. Visibly distraught,” Max Londberg of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted.
Sisters Emily Rash, 38, and Gretchen Pleuss, 27, were eating breakfast at Maplewood Kitchen when they were told there was an active shooter nearby.
“‘It’s giving me anxiety. My heart is beating fast,’ Rash said. They were locked inside for 10-15 minutes beginning at 9:10. They learned more about the shooting from Facebook as they witnessed people running outside. ‘It was surreal. You’re heightened, aware of everybody,'” Max Londberg tweeted.
“I heard about eight gunshots, and I actually got on my knees. I kind of got down on the ground and then all the cops started coming,” witness James Walker told CNN affiliate WLWT. “I’m still shaking,” he said.