By by JB Nicholas, oxygen.com
The senseless onslaught left three bystanders dead, two wounded, and countless lives forever changed.
Cincinnati authorities have named the man who they say entered a bank’s corporate headquarters Thursday morning and opened fire in the lobby, killing three bystanders, wounding two, and stopping only when a volley of shots returned by police left him dead.
Omar Enrique Santa Perez, 29, of North Bend, peppered the concourse with bullets before officers rushed to the scene and gunned him down, said Eliot Isaac, Cincinnati’s chief of police, at an afternoon news conference.
Perez packed a 9 mm handgun and eye-popping quantities of ammunition for his rampage at the Fifth Third Center — “in the neighborhood of maybe 200 rounds,” Isaac said.
Reports of an active shooter began to flood the city’s 911 lines just after 9 a.m. Thursday. The first four police officers to arrive at the bank spotted Perez raining gunfire in the lobby — and quickly engaged him, Isaac told reporters.
The responding officers hit Perez several times, killing him, Isaac said.
Medics pronounced the gunman, and one of his victims, dead at the scene.
Emergency officials rushed four more victims to a local hospital, where two were later pronounced dead.
One witness, Leonard Cain, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he watched in horror as Perez shot a woman, one of about 15 rounds he’d heard the gunman fire. Perez hit some of his victims multiple times, according to Isaac.
The slain shooter acted alone, said Isaac, who commended the responders for putting their lives at risk to stop the bloodshed.
“There are not additional threats to the public,” he said. “Bravery and heroic actions stopped this shooter before his rampage continued to do more harm.”
By Thursday afternoon, police had executed a search warrant at Perez’s North Bend apartment.
Local reporters witnessed police hauling boxes of evidence from the gunman’s residence.
An ongoing investigation has provided no indication of the shooter’s motive, according to Isaac, but “mental health issues” may have been a factor, he said.
Perez’s weapon of choice in the carnage had been purchased legally, according to preliminary reports cited by Isaac.
It is “still very much an active investigation,” he said.
At least some of the officers who engaged Perez were wearing body cameras during the firefight. The department is planning a Friday release for the grim footage captured on those devices.
Video caught on nearby surveillance cameras would also be made public once cops have screened it, Isaac said.
The shooting was “clearly an act of grotesque violence,” and should “frighten all,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley.
“We as a country have to figure out how to end it,” Cranley said.
[Photo: Broward County Sheriff]
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