Indian dead in Cincinnati bank shooting

New York: A 25-year-old Indian financial consultant was among three persons killed when a gunman opened fire in a bank in Cincinnati, Ohio, before police shot him dead on Thursday.

Pruthviraj Kandepi, who hailed from Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, was killed when 29-year-old Omar Enrique Santa Perez from North Bend, Ohio, opened fire at the headquarters of the Fifth Third Bank near Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati, the police said.

India's consul general in New York, ambassador Sandeep Chakravorty, said the consulate is in touch with the police, Kandepi's family as well as members of the Indian community in Cimncinnati.

An official of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) said Kandepi was working with the bank as a consultant.

Arrangements were being made to send his body to India, he added.

Hamilton county coroner Lakshmi Sammarco knew Kandepi, she said on Facebook, when she announced the names of the victims.Sammarco met Kandepi at the Hindu temple in Cincinnati, Cincinnati.com reported.

"How do you tell parents who live 10,000 miles away that they will never see their son again because of a senseless shooting in a foreign country?" she wrote.

The other two victims were identified as Luis Felipe Calderon, 48 and Richard Newcomer, 64.

Five persons were shot, some multiple times, in the incident, police said, adding that the gunman was killed in a shootout with officers.

It appeared the victims had no connection to each other. It was not immediately clear if any of the victims knew the gunman, media reports said.

According to the Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac, officers responded to a 911 call around 9.10am (local time) about an "active shooter" at the bank.

Perez was shot multiple times as four police officers approached him and he died at the scene. He had a semi-automatic pistol and more than 200 rounds of ammunition, Isaac said, adding that Perez was not a former or current employee of the bank.

He had gone to several businesses before going to the bank, Isaac said. The motive for the shooting was not immediately known, police said.

Perez had opened fire in the building's loading dock before moving to the lobby area and firing more shots, Isaac said. Cincinnati mayor John Cranley said that the suspect was "actively shooting innocent victims". "Random mass shootings, which plague our nation, are not normal." 


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