Teen killed in Port Charlotte hailed as hero by friend, community

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

The teen victim of accused killer Ryan Clayton Cole, 27, in Port Charlotte is being seen as a hero after deputies say he was protecting his younger sibling from Cole’s armed robbery in their home Thursday.

We have not released the name of the victim, pending release of his name by Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office out of respect for his family. But we did speak to his close friend, who shared details about him, as the community processes this tragedy.

Jarret Saks lives a few houses away from his friend’s house. Saks say his friend is a hero for what he did. Saks said he will miss walking to school, playing video games and simply spending time with him.

“I saw them run down to his house,” Saks said. “And then I just came out like an hour or two later and I just waited out here for like three hours, waiting to see him walk out fine.”

But his friend never came out of his family’s home.

“I’m feeling a little angry that someone would do that to my friend,” Saks said. “But also sad at the same time.”

Cole was eventually apprehended by deputies after he was seen running through the neighborhood wielding a knife and bloodied himself. He was flown to Lee Memorial hospital, as investigators were linking him to this robbery and another one nearby that occurred the same day.

Police say Sak’s friend defended his younger sibling in what became a deadly attack.

“A life got taken,” neighbor Chris Hindrichs said. “I feel for the family.”

We spoke to a deputy on scene who said patrols are scheduled through the area of the crime scene through 8 a.m. Saturday. And the area could be closed long, as investigators search for more evidence.

As for Saks and the community, they will have their friend and neighbor in mind for much longer.

“He was funny. He was easy to talk to,” Saks said. “It’s going to be a really sad day. It’s going to be sad for the rest of the year.”

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.