SEBRING, Fla. — A steady flow of people came Saturday afternoon to drop off flowers and honor the five women who were shot and killed inside the Midtown Suntrust bank in Sebring.
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Most of those who visited Saturday were women.
"It's such a small town and it was such a tragic event, and as a women especially because it was five women, I felt like it was important to come and pay my respects," said Kilian Kristy, a Sebring resident who didn’t know the women.
Marisol Lopez, Jessica Montague, and Ana Pinon-Williams were working when the shooting happened, along with another woman whose family declined to allow her name to be released.
Cynthia Watson was a customer inside at the time. She was also shot and killed.
The shooting happened Wednesday at the SunTrust Bank at 1901 U.S. Highway 27 South.
Authorities said 21-year-old Zephen Xaver faces five counts of first-degree murder.
Jayne Tingley, who lives nearby, said she’d been visiting the bank for 15 years.
She recalled memories of the women.
"Everybody was always so nice like they knew you. You'd walk in the door and think within the first year they knew our names. They would ask how the kids were, if we'd accomplish certain goals," Tingley said.
Residents have been dropping off flowers, photos and other items at the site of last week's shootings. (Stephanie Claytor/Spectrum News)
Meanwhile the Sebring Firemen's Association and pastors in the area prepared for a candlelight vigil being held Sunday at 6 p.m. in the Highland News Sun Center.
"In a time like this I think it will be powerful for us to link arms together and process through this as a community," said Dustin Woods, a Pastor at Grace Bible Church. "While there are obviously many people who are much closer to the situation that others, we all felt the sting."
As people dropped off flowers, they were also wondering what would happen to the bank. SunTrust announced Saturday that it won't reopen.
"I'd like to see it demolished and to put a memorial up. I know that several people have stepped forward and offered their services. I hope the SunTrust Corporation takes that into consideration," Tingley said.
"I don't know that I could walk back into this bank without seeing their faces which is a good thing but to know how they lost their lives, not so good."
SunTrust spokeswoman Sue Mallino said it's exploring options for the best use of the property. It advises customers to visit the other SunTrust branches in Sebring and Avon Park, and also its mobile branch at 126 W. Center Ave. in Sebring.
More information was also revealed about the employment history of the shooting suspect.
Records show Xaver worked at Walmart, a Mexican restaurant, and an oil change shop in Indiana for a few months before moving to Florida sometime after April 2018.
In Florida, he worked as a trainee prison guard at the Avon Correctional Institution from November 2 to January 9, when he resigned.