Questions remain one year after fatal Cape Coral shooting spree

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. State prosecutors recently started reviewing the actions of the Cape Coral police officers who shot and killed a 31-year-old suspect following a June 5, 2016 shooting spree that left two dead and three others injured.

Prosecutors received the case on April 20, then acquired additional information on May 17, the State Attorney’s Office said, adding that the case is currently under review.

The involved officers, whose names “cannot” be released, remain on administrative leave, said Cape Coral police spokesman Lt. Dana Coston, who did not elaborate on why the officers’ names are being held.

“A police shooting is investigated just like any other shooting, gathering evidence, forensics, interviewing witnesses, putting together a case file that explains what happened in as much detail as possible,” he said. “Once the case is reviewed by the state and concluded, a separate internal affairs investigation is conducted to make sure the shooting was within policy.”

Jeremy C. Taylor, 54, was on a motorcycle on the 2600 block of Skyline Boulevard at about 5:45 p.m. when he was shot in the head.

“The motorcyclist did nothing wrong and there was no road rage between the two that I could see,” witness Jessica Verhaagh said in a written statement following the shooting. “He (the shooter) purposely had a purpose for what he was doing and he shot the motorcyclist when he got up next to him with a black one-pump shot gun.”

As officers responded to the first shooting, Sean Strickland, 26, was working behind the counter at the Circle K at Chiquita Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway West when he was shot and killed.

Richard Huwiler was inside the store purchasing cigarettes at the time.

“I won’t forget that guy’s eyes when he looked at me, cocked that rifle, that shotgun,” he said one day after the shooting. “Very traumatic. In my mind I’m thinking ‘I’m hoping this dude don’t come back around the corner and shoot me again.’ I think he probably thought he killed me.”

Huwiler was shot in the right hand. Shotgun pellets also struck his back and side.

Officers located Christopher Michael Moran’s vehicle near the 5100 block of Skyline Boulevard and opened fire after he “violently resisted officers,” Coston said then.

Maria Rodriguez, 33, and Moran’s son, who was 14-months-old at the time, were in the vehicle at the time. It was not clear if they were injured by Moran or from police gunfire.

Neighbors said Rodriguez was Moran’s live-in girlfriend.

“Discovering the motive is definitely a question that we are working very hard to get an answer to,” Coston said following the shooting. “All the questions that you and your viewers have are very much the same questions our investigators have, as well.”

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