Cincinnati Shooter Had Troubled Past and Sued MSNBC for Spying on Him

September 7, 2018 Updated: September 7, 2018

The Ohio man who shot dead three people in a Cincinnati office building had a troubled past, including several lawsuits against MSNBC and a history of multiple arrests.

Omar Enrique Santa Perez used a legally-purchased 9mm handgun to shoot and kill three people in the lobby of the Fifth Third Bank headquarters in downtown Cincinnati on Sept. 6, according to Fox, before responding officers shot him dead.

The report also reveals that Santa Perez had been arrested in several states, brought suits against MSNBC for allegedly spying on him, and that neighbors said he often looked “pissed off.”

Gunman Santa Perez
This undated photo provided by the Broward County Sheriff shows Omar Enrique Perez who is suspected of the shooting deaths of three people in downtown Cincinnati, Sept. 6, 2018. (Broward County Sheriff via AP)

Gunman’s Motive Unknown

Police say it is still unclear why Perez, who was carrying a large amount of ammunition, set out on a shooting spree that killed three and wounded two others before four officers all opened fire on him.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac says law enforcement officials will study footage from the officers’ body cameras and building security surveillance footage for clues.

The suspect had never worked at Fifth Third and police have no information linking him to other businesses in the building.

The scene of a shooting in Cincinnati
Police investigate the scene after a multiple fatality shooting at the Fifth Third Bank building on Fountain Square after a shooting with multiple fatalities on Sept. 6, 2018, in downtown Cincinnati. (AP)

No Stranger to Law Enforcement

Santa Perez was a known figure to police in other parts of the United States.

Criminal records show that the gunman had faced a range of charges, Fox 19 reported, and displayed erratic behavior when confronted by police, including crying.

The earliest charges date back to 2010, when Santa Perez was arrested in Broward County, Florida, for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Other run-ins with the law include traffic violations and marijuana possession.

Fox Carolina reported that in 2014 in Greenville, South Carolina, Santa Perez was arrested and charged with trespassing after refusing to leave the property of a water sports company that had fired him.

Police records reported on by the Cincinnati Enquirer said that when deputies arrived, Santa Perez was lying in front of the business, smoking a cigar.

“The suspect appeared to be upset and disoriented. When I would ask the suspect questions but he would respond with strange answers,” the report said, according to the newspaper. “The suspect mumbled something about the war and the economy, but for the most part talked about that he was upset that he was terminated.”

Other reports revealed Santa Perez had also been busted in Cincinnati for driving a car with expired plates.

Apartment complex where Santa Perez lived
Police cordon off the area as they investigate an apartment in North Bend, Ohio, Sept. 6, 2018, in a connection to a shooting in Cincinnati. (Phil Didion/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

A Quiet Man Who Kept to Himself

Authorities believe that 29-year-old had lived in the Cincinnati area since 2015.

Santa Perez’s neighbors at an apartment complex in North Bend, Ohio, described him as a quiet man who kept to himself, according to Fox19.

Steve Conner, one of the residents at the apartment complex, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Santa Perez never responded to greetings and was seen often “walking down the street, looking pissed off at everybody.”

Another neighbor, Christina Fischer, said he “kind of would hide when you’d come up the stairs.

“He didn’t want anybody near him,” she told the newspaper.

Police respond to the shooting
Cincinnati Police respond to shooting inside a bank in downtown, in this social media photo released in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sept. 6, 2018. (Courtesy Cincinnati Police Department/Handout via Reuters)

Lawsuit for ‘Character Assassination’

Santa Perez also filed two lawsuits against MSNBC, according to reports, claiming that the news corporation was spying on him.

In January this year, he sued NBC Universal and TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation for emotional distress and “character assassination,” WCPO reported.

He was asking for $5.1 million in damages.

Santa Perez claimed his cell phone and computer had been hacked, and that he was being tracked.

Judges found his allegations “rambling, difficult to decipher and (bordering) on the delusional,” WCPO reported.

Police told Fox 19 that Santa Perez was a lone shooter who suffered from mental health issues.

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