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Published: Friday, September 07, 2018 @ 4:01 PM
CINCINNATI — The gunman in a downtown Cincinnati shooting at Fifth Third Bank entered the lobby with 250 rounds of ammunition in his briefcase, according to Police Chief Eliot Isaac.
Omar Santa-Perez, 29, was able to fire 35 rounds from a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic handgun before police shot and killed him.
He killed three people and injured two others.
Surveillance footage at Fifth Third showed people taking cover as Santa-Perez open fired.
At one point, an unarmed security guard in the lobby helps a person get behind a desk while another shields a person as they take cover.
Isaac called the actions “heroic.”
He also noted that the video was edited because the actual footage is “extremely graphic.”
Santa-Perez entered Fifth Third Bank using a side door, not the loading dock as police previously believed.
He turned toward the bank’s windows as police began firing at him from outside.
He fired the first shot at 9:06 a.m.
Police responded in three-and-a-half minutes, ending the incident four minutes and 28 seconds after Santa-Perez’s initial shot, according to Isaac.
At one point, Santa-Perez’s gun reportedly jammed.
Isaac also said it looks like he reloaded once.
Police body camera footage showed officers approaching the bank with their guns drawn.
They fired shots into the glass windows as one officer entered the lobby.
Another crouched down directly in front of the windows as he fired inside.
It is not known which officers struck Santa-Perez, who died on the scene.
Santa-Perez legally purchased the handgun in August from a Cincinnati gun store, according to Isaac.
He drove to Fountain Square in his own vehicle, which police found on Court Street.
Santa-Perez reportedly entered several businesses on Fountain Square before the shooting.
While Santa-Perez had traffic citations in the area, he did not have a criminal history in Cincinnati.
Isaac reported that Santa-Perez had misdemeanor offenses in South Carolina and Palm Beach, Fla.
Santa-Perez has been in the Cincinnati area since 2015, according to Isaac, and has lived in seven different residences since.
Most of Santa-Perez’s family reportedly lives in Puerto Rico.
A motive has not yet been determined, but Isaac said he many have been trying to get to the federal courthouse.
Santa-Perez filed two lawsuits in 2017 and 2018 claiming that large organizations “maintained electronic watch” or made “unwarranted intrusion” onto his personal devices, according to court records.
A high school classmate of Santa-Perez said he was friendly and always had a smile on his face, but was also quiet and shy.
“It was surreal,” said Logan Howell. “It was like someone dying and you just can’t comprehend the reality of the situation.”
Howell wrestled with Santa-Perez at Westside High School in Anderson, S.C.
Police said Thursday there was no indication of possible mental health issues, but Howell disagrees.
“I feel like he did have mental issues and he didn't know how to address them and get help for them,” he said. “...It's devastating. Just devastating. You don't know what to think or how to think of it or how to take it.”