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Victim of Cincinnati shooting hopes ‘to make a difference in the future’

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(ABC NEWS)- One of the victims of the shooting at a downtown Cincinnati bank is “thankful” to all who rendered her aid and is thinking about how she can make a difference in the future, she said in a statement.

Whitney Austin was on the phone and unaware of the commotion when she walked into the lobby of the Fifth Third Center bank, where she suffered “multiple gunshot wounds” in the Thursday afternoon barrage, according to the statement.

Austin is “especially grateful” to the two officers who “carried her out of the line of fire after she was shot,” the statement says. She was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where she was listed in stable condition.

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

 

Whitney Austin, a senior product manager for digital lending at Fifth Third Bank and the mother of two children, ages 5 and 7, said in the statement the family was “overwhelmed by the support we have received from coworkers, family, friends, and total strangers.”

Surveillance video of the incident released on Friday shows 29-year-old Omar Perez walking through the bank lobby with a Taurus 9 mm semi-automatic handgun pointed forward. He can be seen “taking shots at anyone he sees,” Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said during a press conference Friday.

The shooting lasted about 4 minutes, 28 seconds from the time he fired his first round to when he was felled by officers. In the video, he can be seen near the security turnstiles as police officers begin firing at him through the window. Moments later, he appears to see officers approaching and turns around to run, but is propelled forward after being shot. Four officers fired a total of 11 rounds at Perez, but it has yet to be determined how many times he was hit.

Perez fired a total of 35 rounds during the shooting, and he had about 200 rounds of extra ammunition in the briefcase he was carrying, Isaac said. Investigators have not yet determined a motive for the shooting, but police believe he may have been slowly working his way to the federal courthouse.

 



Daniella Hankey

Good Morning West Virginia! Daniella Hankey is the Morning and Noon newscast Anchor. Daniella joined Newswatch as a Multi-Media journalist and quickly moved her way up to an Anchor. Before landing in the beautiful Mountain State, Daniella called her home Orlando, Florida. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to further her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. When Daniella is not working, you can find her exploring West Virginia especially the Greenbrier and engaging with community members. As a morning anchor, Daniella loves putting a smile on viewers faces in the morning and informing them of community events. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at dhankey@woay.com. You can also follow Daniella on Facebook at DaniellaHankeyTV.