Woman, 54, killed in Fort Myers Beach deputy-involved shooting

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A deputy drew a gun Thursday near a home on the 400 block of Lazy Way. A deputy later shot and killed a woman. (Photo via witness Jennifer Gavino)

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. A 54-year-old woman was killed Thursday in a deputy-involved shooting, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies responded to a 911 complaint call at around 5:15 p.m. on the 400 block of Lazy Way, the sheriff’s office said. Debi Lynn Thorkelson was armed and barricaded herself inside the home.

Deputies pleaded with Thorkelson to come out, and one of the deputies could be heard telling her they would not hurt her.

A deputy entered the home to speak to Thorkelson, the sheriff’s office said. The deputy fired at the Thorkelson in fear for his life after she pointed a gun at him.

Thorkelson was pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff’s office said. The deputy was uninjured.

Four deputies were placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol for this type of case, the sheriff’s office said.

The area around the multi-family home where the shooting took place was still taped off late Friday morning. Residents whose cars are within the crime scene taps aren’t being allowed to drive out, and they have to check with deputies if they want to leave on foot.

Nearby resident Sean Ryan was caught up in the standoff.

“I heard commotion outside. I went outside and saw three officers behind a tree,” Ryan said. “They told me to run down the street with my arms in the air, which I did, and they put me in a patrol car until now.”

Ryan said deputies told him they kept him in the car to protect his safety.

The shooting remains under investigation. Sheriff’s office cruisers remained at the scene through the night, and a detective could be seen walking up and down Lazy Way with a flashlight shortly before sunrise.

Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno held a press conference Thursday night to address the shooting:

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