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SunTrust Bank in Sebring holds moment of silence for shooting victims

Posted at 12:07 AM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-25 18:45:42-05

SEBRING, Fla. — There is a growing show of support for the five women shot and killed inside a SunTrust Bank in Sebring.

SunTrust Bank observed a moment of silence Friday afternoon. About a dozen people gathered at 12:36 p.m., the exact time 21-year-old Zephen Xaver called 911 to report he opened fire, according to police.

The crowd held hands and prayed around a small memorial outside the bank.

That memorial continues to grow with pictures, flowers, crosses and other items to reflect on the women. Some of the mementos were left by people in the community.

Jose Sanchez was a customer of one of the victims, 31-year-old Jessica Montague.

"You will never see this smile again," Sanchez said as he left Montague's picture along the sidewalk Friday. "The hard thing is that she’s gone."

"It shouldn’t have happened," said Nelly Gonzalez, who works at a Residence Inn across the street from the bank. "Not here, not anywhere in the world, because there’s too much hate. And it has to stop."

One man drove more than two hours to leave crosses and pray for the families of the victims.

"Through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil," said Bob Ossler as he read from his bible.

Ossler has been in ministry for more than 40 years. In that time, he's visited numerous sites of mass shootings or national tragedies.

"I was at the synagogue shooting in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. I recently returned from Paradise, California. I was a chaplain at ground zero, where I did over 300 funerals on Tower Two," Ossler said.

He added he knows Sebring will be a town struggling to heal after this tragedy.

"I want to reach out and let them know they are loved, we do care and that we’ll help them get through this," Gonzalez said.

RELATED: What we know about the accused SunTrust Bank shooter | Suspect resigned as a correctional officer trainee recently | Suspect was fascinated with violence, ex-girlfriend says | 38-year-old victim was former Okeechobee resident

Investigators still do not know why a gunman opened fire on Wednesday, cutting five lives short.

Ana Pinon-Williams, 38, was a new employee at the SunTrust Bank in Sebring. She was a mother to seven children. She used to work at the PNC Bank in Okeechobee. Friends and former coworkers tell WPTV she left the job at PNC to accept the job at SunTrust, wanting to spend more time with family and take a job closer to home.

Former coworkers described her as hardworking, helpful, always sweet and motherly.

Her brother-in-law, Tim Williams, spoke about Ana at a news conference Thursday.

“We’re determined to let Ana’s memory be marked by the life she lived, the people she loved, and the difference she made... Loving came easy for her. Loving her was easy. Living without her will be hard,” Williams said.

Marisol Lopez, 55, also worked at the SunTrust Bank in Sebring. She leaves behind a husband and two children. A former coworker commented on Facebook about Marisol’s kindness, giving heart, sweet spirit, and willingness to help everyone. She never complained, never lost her temper and had a work ethic second to none, the coworker said.

She once won teller of the year.

A customer of Marisol’s, Judy Goff, spoke about Marisol at a vigil. “She always impressed me because she was always a cheerful, happy person. Always smiling and interacting with customers.”

Cynthia Watson, 65, from Lake Placid, was a customer. She had a husband, and Facebook posts said she loved animals.

WPTV spoke to her close friend who said Watson got married just two weeks ago, and loved making jewelry.

On Friday, the Highlands County Sheriff's Office confirmed the name of a fourth victim, Jessica Montague, a bank employee.

Investigators have not identified the fifth victim, withholding that information as a result of the recent passing of Marsy’s Law, which gave more privacy rights to the victims of crimes or their families. We know the fifth victim was 54 years old.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. at Fireman's Field in Sebring.