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Cincinnati police ID gunman behind Fifth Third shooting as Omar Enrique Santa-Perez

Posted at 4:59 PM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 12:02:58-04

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati police on Thursday afternoon identified the gunman behind a deadly shooting at Fifth Third Center as 29-year-old Omar Enrique Santa-Perez of North Bend, Ohio.

According to Police Chief Eliot Isaac, police began to receive calls about a shooter inside the Fountain Square landmark around 9:11 a.m. Perez shot five people, killing one on-scene and fatally wounding two others, before a group of four Cincinnati officers shot him "multiple times," Isaac said.

While Santa-Perez's surviving victims were rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, police determined he had been killed in the exchange of fire. 

By 4 p.m, yellow tape encircled the North Bend building in which Santa-Perez had lived.

"We are still processing that evidence and looking for any opportunity to gain greater insight into the motive of this morning's events," Isaac said, adding investigators were "confident" Perez had acted alone and the shooting was an isolated incident.

Isaac said he anticipated giving another news conference Friday once investigators had a chance to thoroughly examine the evidence gathered from Santa-Perez's home. In the meantime, he praised the officers who responded to the deadly incident. 

"Their bravery and heroic actions stopped the shooter before his rampage continued to do more harm," he said. 

Mayor John Cranley, who spoke after Isaac at a 4:45 p.m. news conference, repeated his earlier belief that the incident represented another installment in an ongoing series of devastating mass shootings across the United States.

"This is clearly an act of grotesque violence to innocent people, and it should frighten all of us," he said.

Federal court documents indicate Santa-Perez twice -- once in January and again in June -- attempted to represent himself in a pair of multi-million-dollar lawsuits against NBC Universal Inc., CNBC Universal Media and Ameritrade Holding Corporation.

Santa-Perez claimed in the filings the two media organizations had committed "slanderous defamation of character and moral rights through unwarranted intrusion into (his) personal electronics," reporting fabricated stories about himself and his family, and that Ameritrade had failed to protect him. 

An initial search of MSNBC and NBC’s news websites revealed no coverage at all involving Santa-Perez prior to Thursday’s shooting. The first suit was dismissed with prejudice June 6; Santa-Perez filed the second June 20.

He previously lived in Broward County, Florida, where he in 2010 faced charges of brawling in public and resisting arrest.

Santa-Perez lived in Greenville, South Carolina in 2014. He was arrested that year on trespassing charges after he refused to leave his job when he was fired, according to incident reports.