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Fifth Third vice president shot 12 times in Downtown shooting, now undergoing surgery

Whitney Austin 'grateful that people want to help'
Posted at 12:12 PM, Sep 07, 2018

Fifth Third Bank's vice president and digital product lending manager was shot 12 times in Thursday's Downtown shooting, her husband said. 

Whitney Austin is now undergoing surgery at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Her husband, Waller Austin, said he is hopeful she will make a full recovery. 

"We are not emotionally ready for interviews yet," Waller Austin said, "but Whitney will have many points that she would like to address once she is able to distance herself from the immediate trauma of (Thursday's) incident." 

Whitney was injured Thursday morning when Omar Santa-Perez walked into the lobby of Fifth Third Bancorp's headquarters off of Fountain Square and opened fire. 

He killed three men and injured Austin and one other person, who has not yet been identified. 

Earlier Friday, Fifth Third provided this narrative to convey Whitney Austin's statements to the public: 

Her husband of 12 years, Waller, said Whitney is in good spirits and is a fighter.

Whitney, a senior product manager for digital lending is based in Louisville and had driven to Cincinnati on Thursday for a meeting. She was on a conference call as she walked into the Fifth Third Center lobby revolving doors, directly into the shooting Thursday morning.

She said she is especially grateful to the two police officers on Fountain Square who rushed to her aid and carried her out of the line of fire after she was shot.

 “I’m still processing the events from yesterday, the impact to the victims, to me and the community. And I’m thinking about how I can make a difference in the future.”

“I’m so thankful to the paramedics and first responders and the doctors, nurses and staff at UC Medical,” she said.

Whitney earned an entrepreneurial MBA from the University of Louisville while working for Fifth Third Bank, where she has worked since receiving her bachelors degree also from UofL in 2003.

"Our family has been overwhelmed by the support we have received from coworkers, family, friends, and total strangers."

“We are so grateful that people want to help and do something,” said the mother of two children, 7 and 5. Her family is preparing their next steps and will let people know soon how they may help.