NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — A man is at large after a robbery and deputy-involved shooting early Thursday morning at a convenience store along U.S. 41 at Littleton Road, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
A robbery was in progress at the 7-Eleven on 15991 N. Cleveland Ave when a deputy confronted a suspect just outside the front door. The suspect pointed a gun at the deputy, and the deputy fired his weapon, authorities said.
The suspect ran away from the scene, but it’s unclear whether he fired shots or was hit, according to the sheriff’s office. The deputy was not shot.
Authorities have released a surveillance photo of the suspect. The alleged robber is 5 feet 7 inches, with a heavy build, authorities said. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black shorts and gray sneakers.
It is unclear what the man is accused of stealing or whether anyone else was involved in the alleged robbery, authorities said.
The helicopters and K-9 units have stopped surveying the area, but deputies are still working to find the suspect. A “Code Red,” which is a warning of danger, was issued in the area of the 7-Eleven, and people are advised to stay indoors, according to the sheriff’s office.
Anyone who sees the suspect should call 911, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS, or the sheriff’s office at 239-477-1000.
Six other violent encounters involving a Southwest Florida deputy or officer took place in the past month:
- A driver is accused of fighting with a Lee County deputy during a Nov. 8 traffic stop.
- A man who fought with a Lee County deputy on Interstate 75 at exit 123 was shot and killed by a passerby on Nov. 14.
- Another man exchanged fire with Lee County deputies on Nov. 16 in the Pine Manor neighborhood.
- A Sanibel police officer was shot during a traffic stop on Nov. 20, leading to an exchange of gunfire between police and the suspect.
- A Naples police officer shot a man while responding to a domestic violence incident Nov. 25 at Cove Inn on Naples Bay.
- A suspect was shot by Lee County deputies Nov. 30 near Coconut Point in Estero.
Here is a video from the sheriff’s office press briefing:
A sheriff’s office helicopter landed and took off nearby the scene. Watch it here:
The sheriff’s office held another press briefing later Thursday morning.