Jessica Montague: A Tribute to the Sebring Shooting Victim

Jessica Montague

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Twenty-one-year-old Zephen Xaver walked into the SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida on Jan. 23, 2019 and when he left, five lives were lost and five families were left numb with shock.

Police say Xaver ordered five women, four were bank employees, to lie face down on the floor and then shot them dead.

Five women, most mothers, all innocent victims, killed in an unspeakable and, for their loved ones, unfathomable act. Five families and countless friends, co-workers, neighbors, and strangers grieving the senseless murders.

Cynthia Watson was a newlywed, Debra Cook was a grandmother, Ana Piñon-Williams has seven children, Marisol Lopez was a mother of two and Jessica Montague was the mother of three.

The women who ranged in age from 31 to 65, were all shot and killed lying face down.

Xaver has been charged with five counts of premeditated murder.

Some say the motive is unknown and the killing random. But the victims were all women killed in an execution fashion and all save Watson were bank employees. Many say it’s anything but random.

On Saturday SunTrust said it would not reopen the branch.

“After hearing the views of the families and teammates, SunTrust has decided that it will not reopen the Sebring Midtown branch location. We will explore options for the best use of that property, while also maintaining an equally vital banking presence in Sebring. In the meantime, we are notifying clients to use our North Sebring and Avon Park branches, as well as a SunTruck Mobile Branch at 126 West Center Avenue in Sebring. We remain committed to being a caring neighbor, supportive bank and strong business partner in Sebring.”

Here’s what you need to know about Jessica Montague:


Jessica Montague, Just 31, Was a Married Mother of 3 Children & Was a Dedicated SunTrust Employee

Jessica Montague, 31, a married mother of three, worked as a teller at the Sebring bank. Her husband Jermaine Montague said his wife was killed on his 33rd birthday.

“Jess…my other daughter. I was blessed to hire her TWICE! She was absolutely gorgeous outside with a sharp intellect and strong heart on the inside. She was me…20 years ago. A young mom making a future for her children they could be proud of. She was a small person with a huge personality. She talked a mile a minute and the smile never left her face. Being the baby girl in the office she got mothered all the time! Her own three babies and her big extended family with her husband meant everything to her. ”


A GoFundMe Was Created for the Family

Created by family members Daffne Cruz, the GoFundMe page, which had a goal of $7000 is well on its way beyond that.

“Following the tragedy that occurred on 1/23/19, we are helping to raise funds for any necessary expenses that will arise for the Montague Family. Jessica was an amazing individual whose life was taken too short and in an unnecessary and senseless matter from the shooting that occurred at the Sebring SunTrust.”


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