FORT MYERS, Fla. A Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputy who shot a woman on I-75 was justified in using deadly force during an attempted ‘suicide-by-cop’ incident on April 22, according to a report released by the State Attorney’s Office on Thursday.
Nicole Kramer, 47, of Lehigh Acres, told emergency operators that someone shot at her car while she drove on I-75 southbound near mile marker 139, the report said.
Cpl. Stacey Caivano, who was in full uniform and in a marked vehicle, responded to the area at about 3:40 a.m. and pulled behind Kramer’s vehicle. Caivano was walking towards Kramer’s vehicle when the woman pulled out what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun, the report said.
“At this moment, Corporal Caivano thought she was going to get shot,” the report said. “She began to back up while commanding Ms. Kramer to ‘drop the gun.’ She said this several times. Ms. Kramer refused to comply and continued to walk towards the corporal. Fearing for her safety, Corporal Caivano drew her department issued firearm and fired two rounds at Ms. Kramer, striking her once.”
While on the ground, Kramer, who was shot in the right chest, reached for her gun, but Caivano kicked it away, the report said.
Several first responders on scene said Kramer mentioned suicide and a suicide note in her vehicle, the report said.
“A ‘suicide note’ was located on the driver’s seat of the Chevy Spark,” the report said. “The note contained language consistent with ‘suicide-by-cop.'”
A black air BB pistol was also recovered from the scene.
Kramer, while being treated at Lee Memorial Hospital, said she has tried committing suicide for the past two years and made up the story of her car being shot at, the report said.
“She stated she thinks she said something like ‘Allah’ as she walked towards the deputy because it would make the deputy think her life was really in danger,” the report said. “Ms. Kramer said she kept walking towards the deputy and did not stop until she was shot.”
Kramer has been charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.