Community mourns the death of a slain library director

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Community remembers Hommerding. WINK News photo.
Community remembers Hommerding. WINK News photo.

Dr. Leroy Hommerding is being remembered for his big heart and open arms after he was taken from the community that grew to love him.

Pastor Shawn Critser said he and Hommerding shared the same compassion and service to their Fort Myers Beach community.

“It’s a very tragic event,” said Critser, who is the pastor for First Baptist Church. “I hate that it happened to Leroy. He was a very great guy.”

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It is through that service to the community that both the pastor and the Fort Myers Beach Public Library director encountered Hommerding’s accused killer, Adam Soules.

“In hindsight, you know you can see where issues were evolving,” Critser said. “Nothing you can see going forward. I don’t think the status of his homelessness created the problem. I think it was something much deeper.”

Critser said Soules came by his church once a week for food. But in the last few weeks, the pastor noticed a difference in the homeless man.

MORE: Murder of a library director leaves his friends, police searching for answers

“Adams personality has sort of changed over the past weeks,” Critser said. “His behavior had just sort of changed little bit.”

A violent change we are learning more about Tuesday.

In court, a judge ordered Soules be held without bond because of his escalating behavior. He is also accused of attacking a second person with a knife within the prior 10 days.

“There is a strong likelihood that the defendant will continue this pattern of attacking people with a knife,” the judge said.

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