Fifth Third Center shooting survivor Brian Sarver 'thanks God' in new statement

Fifth Third Bank shooting survivor released from hospital
Brian Sarver (Lebanon Warrior Football)
Brian Sarver (Lebanon Warrior Football)

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - One of two surviving victims of Thursday's Fifth Third Bank shooting is now back home with his family.

Brian Sarver, 45, was released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Monday afternoon after a five-day stay. He is now at his Lebanon home with his wife and kids.

Sarver released a statement Tuesday evening  through CBRE, saying he is focusing on restoring his health.

"First and foremost, I would like to thank God for protecting me during the shooting. I am praying that God helps me, the other victims and everyone affected by this terrible incident to work through the healing process.  In particular, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to Rick Newcomer's family.  I worked very closely with Rick during the past year and he was a terrific guy.

CBRE says they're greatly relieved Sarver has  been released from the hospital and they wish him a speedy recovery. They also say they're doing all that they can to support Sarver and his family.

Sarver's wife, Lisa, says she's thankful he's home.

"You see this on the news or in movies, but you never think it will happen and you don't want it to happen to anyone and then it does," she said.

Sarver has been an active church member at The River Church in Liberty Township for more than a decade, the church says.

"We're very grateful that he has survived this incredible tragedy and evil," said Lead Pastor, Brad Mitchell

Mitchell also said Sarver worked at the church as a youth ministry teacher.

"He has a lot of grit and determination packed up into a very tender and sensitive spirit. I have nothing but the upmost respect for Brian," said Mitchell.

Friends and family say Sarver is a man who puts the love his community gives him back into it.

"As a church family we're gathering around their family to provide the care they need to focus on his healing in every aspect," said Mitchell.They say he is also volunteers as a coach for the 4th grade Warriors football team in the Lebanon Community Youth Program.

"The Lebanon Warrior Football community was devastated to hear news that Brian was an unfortunate victim of last week's shooting. That said, we are so fortunate to now call him a survivor. Brian always adds an element of fun to the football field for the players he coaches. He's the type of person who will help anyone and that's evident in his dedication to coaching.We pray for his continued healing and look forward to seeing him again soon on the field," a statement from the team said.

Sarver works as a project manager for CBRE, a real estate company.

CBRE released the following statement:

Last Thursday was a sad day for everyone at CBRE. Our colleague, Brian Sarver, was performing work for our client, Fifth Third, on site and was a victim of the shooting.  After undergoing emergency surgery, he is recovering. We are monitoring Brian's progress and supporting his family at this extremely difficult time.

Whitney Austin, the second surviving shooting victim, is still in the hospital. She was shot 12 times and is listed in "fair condition."

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