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, Jessica Montague was the mother of three, Debra Cook was a grandmother, Ana Piñon-Williams has seven children and Marisol Lopez was a mother of two.
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 Marisol Lopez:
Marisol Lopez Was a Longtime SunTrust Employee. Her Supervisor Said Marisol Was a ‘Sister to Me’
“After spending over 20 years with Marisol, she was my right arm, my greatest resource, and another sister to me. I’ve never known a more compassionate person and she was truly loved by all. Rarely a day went by where someone didn’t stop to see me with a compliment about her. We shared a passion of bargain shoes and how to raise kids all the way through college! She was a world traveler and couldn’t wait for the next adventure with her husband or kids.”
Marisol was Remembered by Former Co-worker Shelley Speight Lopez For Her ‘Giving Heart’ & ‘Sweet Spirit’
“What always stood out about Marisol was her kindness, her giving heart, her sweet spirit, and her willingness to help everyone. She never complained, never lost her temper, and had a work ethic second to none! I remember nominating her for the Teller of the Year Award without her knowing. We attended the awards ceremony in Orlando where they announced her as the winner. She was so humble and truly surprised. I, however, never had a doubt that she deserved this award plus much more. Marisol always went out of her way for others. She welcomed my tiny new baby, Karley, into her home at 6:00 am on branch manager meeting days so I could make it to Winter Haven on time. She would pack her up and take her to daycare with little Victor and Kiara.
Yesterday, the world lost this amazing lady in a senseless tragedy. I am deeply saddened by the loss of Marisol and her co-workers. But I am forever grateful to have known her. She was a special person who will never be forgotten.”
Marisol Was a Married Mother of Two
Marisol was married to Victor Lopez Diaz. The couple have two grown children, Kiara, 21, and son Victor Lopez III, 23. By all accounts, based on their Facebook pages, they were a very close-knit family, always smiling in photos.
Victor Lopez Diaz shared a post on Facebook which reads, translated loosely from Spanish, “When someone you love died, you fall apart. You feel empty. You cry alone. Your life will never be the same again.”
Lopez Sang in Her Church Choir & Taught Sunday School. Hundreds Attended a Candlelight Vigil in Her Honor
Lopez was an active member of Nuevo Pacto United Methodist Church in Sebring. The pastor told local media that she “was a Sunday school teacher for the kids for many, many years. She was one of the principal singers in the praise band. She was a leader with the ladies of the church, with everybody. She was the kind of person that always has hope. She was always happy.”
The Rev. Luz Maldonado, pastor of Nuevo Pacto, was also a close friend of Lopez’, it was reported. He said her funeral would be Feb. 2 and she’ll be buried Feb. 7 in her family plot in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico.
On Thursday, hundreds came together to remember Lopez.