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Louisville woman injured in Cincinnati shooting identified by family; 4 dead

Shooter, Omar Enrique Santa Perez, among the dead
Cincinnati police Chief Eliot Isaac identified the shooting suspect in the Fifth Third Bank...
Cincinnati police Chief Eliot Isaac identified the shooting suspect in the Fifth Third Bank shooting as Omar Enrique Santa Perez, 29. (Cincinnati Police)(Cincinnati police)
Updated: Sep. 7, 2018 at 1:05 PM EDT
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(WAVE) - The man who opened fire at Fifth Third Bank’s world headquarters in Cincinnati was identified Thursday afternoon.

Omar Enrique Santa Perez, 29, shot three people dead before he was killed during the morning rampage at Fountain Square, the centerpiece of Cincinnati’s busy downtown district. He was shot and killed by police officers.

Two other people were injured. One of the surviving victims is in critical condition; the other was initially in serious condition but later upgraded to fair condition Thursday afternoon. Both patients are at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, one of whom is a woman from Louisville. WAVE 3 News reported Thursday evening that her husband is at her side at the hospital there.

A family member identified the victim as Whitney Austin.

While walking into work through the turnstile door, she was immediately hit by gunfire and shot multiple times, the family member told WAVE 3 News. Her arm and shoulder were broken and she will need surgery but she is able to communicate, he added. He said it was a miracle none of the bullets struck a major organ.

Austin is in her mid-30s and has children, the family member said. He also told us she lives in Louisville and frequently travels to Cincinnati for work.

On Austin’s LinkedIn profile she is listed as a Vice President Senior Product Development Manager of Fifth Third Bank.

As her family member described, the shooting took place as workers were arriving downtown to begin their work day just after 9 a.m.

Police confirmed Santa Perez was not a current or former employee of the bank, nor was he known to be an employee of any other business nearby.

Officers said he entered the building through a loading dock.

Investigators searched Santa Perez’s home in a suburb called North Bend, but found nothing incriminating. A neighbor told WAVE 3 News sister station WXIX that he had just moved in to that home.

WXIX also reported that initial Cincinnati police radio traffic indicated multiple shooting victims and the shooter down.

“Active shooter incident being investigated at Fifth Third Bank at 511 Walnut Street in lobby and loading dock,” a police spokeswoman said. “More details to follow.”

Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said the shooting started in the loading dock area and continued into the lobby. He said there was an exchange of gunfire between officers and the shooter. No officers were injured.

Isaac also said Santa Perez used a 9-mm gun that was legally purchased, and that he had as many as 200 rounds of ammunition on him. Isaac also said all of the shooting victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

The downtown streets were cordoned off through the morning and afternoon, and the Fifth Third building was kept evacuated for several hours as police combed the crime scene and interviewed witnesses.

An employee at the bank sent the following text message to WAVE 3 News:

“A woman who works on our floor was outside when it went down and people started running out saying there was a shooter. We looked out our windows on Fountain Square and all these cops started surrounding the building guns drawn. Almost at the same time they started shooting. We could hear that! Saw a cop carry a victim out. Don’t know if she was a cop (plain clothed) or employee. She seemed OK.”

A Fifth Third Bank manager described the chaos to WXIX.

“We did hear a gun shooting from the 29th floor,” the manager said. “We could quickly see there was a large police presence and could see them blocking Fountain Square. We knew immediately something was wrong. We’re a bit rattled.”

A shooting at downtown Cincinnati's busy Fountain Square left two people dead and four injured...
A shooting at downtown Cincinnati's busy Fountain Square left two people dead and four injured Thursday morning.

Another witness told FOX19 that he thought there was a movie filming until he saw police carrying a wounded woman away from the scene and saw officers rushing to the scene.

“Knowing there’s going to be people going home tonight without their loved ones just breaks your heart,” said another witness named Jennifer McKinney.

Fifth Third Bank posted a statement on Twitter following the shooting:

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley also took to Twitter to release a statement:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich did the same:

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