Prison didn’t know their guard, accused of killing 5 at bank, was kicked out of the Army

Zephan Xaver

The 21-year-old corrections officer who executed several individuals inside of a bank in Sebring, Florida, was known for not holding a job very long- and that included a short stint in the US Army.

Zephan Xaver, a Florida Department of Corrections officer who had recently resigned from his position at the Avon Park Correctional facility prior to the Sebring incident in January, had enlisted in the US Army in 2016.

According to ABC Action News, Xaver lasted only three months in the US Army and was separated during basic training, never to return.

Interestingly enough, he never made mention of his time in uniform.

“Xaver indicated he never served in the military. Since he never officially served, there was no service to verify,” said Patrick Manderfield, an FDC spokesperson.

The FDC has been criticized for running an “incomplete” background investigation, with some experts, such as retired FBI special agent Leo Martinez, claiming they could have found some information had they requested it from the DoD.

“There could have been something very negative that he did that led him to the non-completion and you need to know that,” Martinez explained.

The Florida Department of Corrections noted that there “there was no disqualifying information” about Xaver that would have “excluded him from becoming a correctional officer.”

Xaver is accused of randomly targeting a bank in Sebring last month, taking five hostages before executing them. He would later surrender to a SWAT team.

“The department performed every required background check as required by Florida statutes,” the FDC stated.

FDC currently struggles with personnel due to officer shortage and high turnover rates.

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