Community

Updated: 6:25 p.m. 9/06/18

Cincinnati Police responded to a call of an active shooter at the Fifth Third Bank building on Fountain Square early Thursday morning. The shooter is dead along with three of his victims. Two others were hospitalized.

The shooter is 29-year-old Omar Enrique Perez. He did not work at Fifth Third or any nearby businesses, according to police. He was carrying a 9mm handgun and a couple hundred extra rounds. Police have not found “conclusive” proof of a motive, but Police Chief Eliot Isaac says there may be signs of mental illness.

Chief Isaac says four officers encountered and fired upon Perez, hitting him multiple times. No officers were injured in the incident.

Our partners at WCPO report the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office identified the three people killed as 25-year-old Pruthvi Raj Kandepi, 64-year-old Richard Newcomer, and 48-year-old Felipe Calderon.

A police spokesman says two victims were treated at UC Medical Center. Thursday afternoon, the hospital shared an update that one patient had been upgraded to fair condition, while another was still in critical condition.

The emergency call about shots fired at 38 Fountain Square was received at 9:10 a.m. Isaac said an individual had entered the loading dock area and fired, then entered the lobby where gunfire was exchanged between the shooter and officers. The gunman did not enter any upper floors.

Fountain Square and the surrounding area has been closed to foot traffic and the Cincinnati Police Department has closed some streets. Check the Cincinnati Police Department’s Twitter for the latest updates.

Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm (ATF) officials arrived to do a sweep of the building. FBI were also on the scene. Police at the time advised people in the area to remain on lockdown until notified it was safe to leave. Chief Isaac said in a news conference that morning that employees in the building were evacuated by police and that he doesn’t believe there is any additional threat. A weapon was recovered at the scene.

Thursday afternoon, the Hamilton County Sherriff executed a search warrant at the North Bend home of the suspected shooter.

WVXU spoke to Sam McDonald, who was walking to his job at the Fifth Third building Thursday morning when he heard the news.

“I was walking past the Chipotle and I had my headphones in when some woman stopped me and said ‘You don’t want to go to the square, we just heard gun shots,’ ” he says. “So I took my headphones out and people were running away from the square and I peered around and about 30 seconds later I heard about five to 10 more gunshots and cops just started running toward the building.”

McDonald says his co-workers were told to stay in place and that he saw two men wheeled out on stretchers.

At Thursday afternoon’s city council meeting at City Hall, several council members praised Chief Isaac, his officers and city firefighters for their quick response.

“It is true your people saved lives,” Council Member Wendell Young told Isaac, who was at the meeting. There were about 50 citizens in the audience who gave Isaac a standing ovation.