Family of Club Blu victim files wrongful death suit

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — The family of the 18-year-old killed in the Club Blu mass shooting has filed a wrongful death suit against the club and the plaza where it’s located, the family’s attorney said.

The suit from the estate of Stef’an Strawder names Club Blu and Carrell Corners West LLC as the defendants and seeks in excess of $15,000 in damages.

Strawder was a basketball star for Lehigh Senior High School with a promising future in the game, with scouts from at least four NCAA Division I programs having given him a look, his coach told WINK News.

Joe North, the Fort Myers attorney representing the family, said Tuesday they were considering the suit if they couldn’t reach an out-of-court settlement.

“What happened that night should have never happened to any family,” North said.

The lawsuit refers to Club Blu as a “nuisance,” pointing to prior criminal activity on the property. Police have been called to the club 88 times since 2014.

The family of Sean Archilles, a 14-year-old boy who also died in the shooting, hired Fort Myers attorney Dennis L. Webb, who told WINK News Thursday that he could file a wrongful death suit as soon as Friday.

Terry Pannell and Brandy McLaughlin, two of the security guards for Club Blu the night of the shooting, also plan to file suit against the club.

WINK News is working to reach club ownership and the property manager for comment.

Meanwhile, the Fort Myers Police Department is asking anyone with pictures or video taken inside or outside the club the night of the shooting to send them to authorities.

Anyone with information is asked to call FMPD at 239-321-7700. Callers may also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) or text message C-R-I-M-E-S (274637) Keyword FMPD.  Tipsters can remain anonymous.

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