A shooting at a bank in the US state of Ohio has left four people dead, including the gunman, police have said.
The incident happened early on Thursday morning at the Fifth Third Bank building in Cincinnati city centre.
One of the victims died at the scene and three men and one woman were taken to hospital, where two died.
The other two remain in hospital, one in a critical condition and the other in a serious condition.
It is understood that three or four officers responded almost immediately. One witness, who was in a nearby store at the time, told FOX19 she heard about 20 shots before the shop was put on lockdown.
No police officers were hurt, ABC News affiliate WLOX reported.
Eliot Issac, the area’s police chief, said the gunman initially opened fire at a loading bay just before 9.10am local time and then entered the bank’s lobby where there was an exchange of gunfire.
Confirming the gunman died in the shootout, he added: “The shooter is deceased. We also have five additional victims that sustained injuries. Of those five, we have received word that three of those five are deceased.
“It is a very horrific situation. We are in the very early stages and are beginning an investigative process.”
At this stage, the attacker’s motive is unclear.
@CincyPD units are still actively clearing the scene in the 500 block of Walnut St. related to the active shooter investigation. People in the immediate vicinity should remain on lockdown until further notice. Continue to follow this feed for updates. pic.twitter.com/V7IwmzPE5S
— Cincinnati Police Department (@CincyPD) 6 September 2018
John Cranley, the mayor of Cincinnati, said the gunman had been “actively shooting innocent victims” – and described the scene as “horrific”.
A large part of downtown Cincinnati was cordoned off after the shooting.
PG Sittenfeld, a councilman in the city, wrote on Twitter: “What a sick, tragic way for this day to begin. The scourge of gun violence leaves only loss.”
Leonard Cain, one onlooker, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he was about to enter the bank when someone warned him about the shooting.
He then saw a woman who was also walking into the bank. Although people tried to get her attention before she entered the building, she was wearing headphones and did not hear them.
“She walked in the door and he shot her,” Mr Cain added.
Michael Richardson, who was just outside the main doors of the bank when he heard gunshots, saw a police officer dragging a woman out of the bank lobby.
He told the newspaper she was talking, but “her shirt was red” with blood.
The newspaper said at least one of the victims was shot at an ice cream shop at the corner of the bank’s headquarters.
The incident is the 15th mass shooting (with at least four victims) in the Cincinnati area since 2013.