The chaos unfolded alongside Fountain Square, the heavily trafficked park at the city's center. "Everything transpired in the loading dock area and the lobby of the building", said the police chief, adding that it's not clear yet whether the victims were targeted. It's unclear whether the gunman shot himself or was shot by officers.
Investigators have not identified a motive for the shootings, Issac said. Police swarmed his apartment on Thursday afternoon in North Bend, Ohio, about 15 miles away. They didn't immediately explain the search.
The responding officers hit Perez several times, killing him, Isaac said.
Sammarco posted Thursday on Facebook, asking how officials will explain to his parents "they will never see their son again because of a senseless shooting in a foreign country". I kind of got down on the ground and then all the cops started coming.
The carnage unfolded in Fountain Square, a popular venue populated by office buildings, restaurants and retail stores. He said the shooter, who fired a 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol during the incident, was not a former or current employee of the bank.
She said she did not know their condition.
"Oh, no, no, no, no", the woman said as she slumped against the wall and spoke to Perez's sister. One witness told FOX19 she heard about 20 shots before the store she was in was put on lockdown. Then, it "sounded as if they were getting closer and closer". Two others were injured, he said.
Newcomer was doing work on the third floor of the building and "just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time", Cotter said. The two other victims are being treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Three people died of their wounds and two others remained hospitalized. All four received at the hospital had gunshot wounds, she said.
Police earlier characterized the incident as an "active shooter/officer involved shooting incident" in a tweet, but did not elaborate.
Fountain Square is host to concerts, food trucks and many retail shops.
Mayor John Cranley praised police and other emergency personnel, saying, "the heroism of these officers was truly remarkable". He said it "could have been much, much worse" if not for the immediate police response to end the threat. "We as a country have to deal with it", Cranley added.
Witnesses described the terrifying scene. Leonard Cain told The Cincinnati Enquirer he was going inside the bank when someone alerted him there was shooting.
He said a woman was also walking into the bank and people tried to get her attention but she had headphones on. The Fifth Third Center is a 30-story skyscraper that sits on the square.