SEBRING, Fla. — For Victor and Deanna Sparks, five minutes might have meant the difference between life and death.
“If I’d have maybe been to the bank five minutes sooner. We had five stops to make, and that was the last one. And if we’d have left out any one of those stops I could’ve been in there,” said Victor Sparks.
Sparks said he went to the bank to make a deposit, tried to go inside, and was unable to open the door. However, what he saw inside scared him.
“It was four or five people I saw facing away from me on their stomachs and somebody walking back and forth between me and them,” he said. "I heard two loud bangs and I didn't know if they were gunshots."
Unfortunately, it turned out to be exactly that. Five women inside were shot dead, including Marisol Lopez, whom Sparks had been cordial with.
“She was always so sweet and always smiling and just such a soft tender way when she would talk to you,” he said.
“The thought that goes through my mind is I was probably the last person other than the shooter to see them alive and that really hits home."
Sparks said will take time to overcome the shock and grief, but his wife said she is grateful for her husband’s escape from danger.
"It hit me later in the day,” she said. “I could've been a widow today if God had not had his hand on what we were doing."
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