CAPE CORAL, Fla. – An officer shot back at an armed man who then went into his Cape Coral home where police found him dead on Thursday, the Cape Coral Police Department said.
Investigators say 66-year-old John Toles emerged from his house armed with a gun and shot at police, forcing one officer to return fire.
“There was a lot of police activity,” said neighbor Mimi Pagan. “They all stood behind their cars waiting to see what would happen.”
Officers heard a gunshot inside the home located off Northwest 12th Street, entered the home, then found Toles dead, according to CCPD.
Pagan says Toles was a person who everyone loved but was battling cancer and going through a difficult time.
“He probably just wanted to get away from the pain that he was going through,” Pagan said. “Yesterday when I saw him for the last time in the morning and I said hi, it wasn’t him. I keep on telling myself, why didn’t I stop doing what I did and just go up to him, ‘John are you okay? Do you need anything?’ Because I knew what he was going through.”
The officer involved in the shooting is on administrative leave as the department investigates, CCPD said.
“Officers respond to these calls for service and the officers have to respond in an instance, make split-second decisions that in some cases can mean life or death,” said Sgt. Dana Coston with CCPD.
No officers were injured in the shooting, police said. Neighbors add Toles lived in the house with his wife and mother-in-law who both made it out safely.