Melbourne 'active shooter' suspect identified by police

Police have identified the suspect involved in the "active shooter" situation that unfolded at a Melbourne apartment complex on Wednesday morning.

The man has been identified as William J Banks Jr., 47, of Melbourne, according to the Melbourne Police Department. 

At the time of the shooting, police said they weren't able to release his identity pending next of kin notification. 

The situation started at around 8:30 a.m. at the Pentagon Apartments on Babcock Street and Strawbridge Avenue after a 911 call came in about a "suspicious individual." It turns out the call was from the alleged shooter himself, according to Sgt. Ben Slover of the Melbourne Police Department. He reportedly called 911 threatening police, who responded by coming to the apartment for a wellness check. 

Melbourne neighbors shaken up by suspect's alleged shootout with police: 'Woke me and my son up'

Williams had barricaded himself in an apartment unit and began shooting at police officers immediately after they pulled up to the scene, according to Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie. 

No officers were hurt in the shooting.

"They didn't have the opportunity to knock on the door. So, again, we're very fortunate," the chief added. 

At first, police didn't return fire at the suspect. Instead, they took a "defensive position" and set up a perimeter and contained the scene, Gillespie said. SWAT officers and crisis negotiation teams' attempt to get the suspect to surrender and safely resolve the situation failed when the suspect reportedly came out of the apartment unit and started to fire shots at them. 

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Police continue to investigate the "active shooter" situation that unfolded in Melbourne on Wednesday morning. 

That's when multiple officers shot back, the chief said. 

Gillespie previously said the suspect was "in custody" after the shooting, but an update later on Wednesday morning revealed that the suspect is now dead and the "threat has been neutralized."

It's still unclear at this time why Williams holed himself up in the apartment unit and started to shoot at officers, Gillespie said. 


The investigation is ongoing. The officer-involved shooting portion of the incident will be investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is standard protocol.