The suspect later died after exchanging gunfire with police.
The scene was announced as secure at around 9:15 a.m. ET, but there were multiple victims in the area of 511 Walnut Street, which is adjacent to the city's Fountain Square.
A police officer comforts a woman outside UCMC ER following an active shooter situation in downtown Cincinnati.
He wasn't a current or former employee at the center, whose primary tenant is the Fifth Third Bank headquarters, officials said.
The chief says they had a "quick response" and 'there is no additional threat'. "The shots got closer and closer and closer and closer and that's all you can think about is, I'm next, I'm next, I'm next", Janetta Cook, a bakery worker, was quoted by CNN saying.
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Witnesses tell me they heard 10-12 shots.
The shooting sent people scrambling across the city's Fountain Square amid cries of "shooter!"
The other two victims were identified as Luis Calderon, 48, and Richard Newcomer, 64, a contractor who worked for Gilbane Building Company. In all, the hospital received four gunshot wound victims from this morning's incident. Martinez Perez described him as "very quiet" and said he had been working various jobs but his family didn't know where. "I kind of got down on the ground and then all the cops started coming", witness James Walker told WLWT. "Everything transpired in the loading dock area and the lobby of the building", said the police chief, adding that it's not clear yet whether the victims were targeted.
In June, a gunman killed five and injured two at The Capital Gazette newspaper offices in Annapolis, Maryland. "We're a bit rattled", said Gregory Harshfield, Fifth Third Bank manager.
Cotter said Newcomer had worked for Gilbane, which has headquarters in Rhode Island and has two offices in OH, for four years, overseeing trade workers.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said that the gunman was "actively shooting innocent victims" and that it was a "horrific" and "grotesque" scene.
"There was a senseless act of gun violence on the streets of Cincinnati this morning", Kasich said. He said a woman, who was wearing headphones, didn't hear the warnings and walked into the bank and was shot. "Avoid area of fountain square in downtown Cincinnati".