Businesses on Fort Myers Beach concerned about crime

Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigators at the scene of an overnight shooting Wednesday at the Lani Kai resort on Fort Myers Beach. (Credit: WINK News)

Businesses on Fort Myers Beach are concerned with the amount of crime happening in one area, especially after an overnight shooting left one man dead, two people injured, and a suspect on the run.

Business owners were on edge Wednesday, worried about the victim’s family and the shooting’s effect on their livelihood. A quick Google search of Fort Myers Beach on Wednesday rendered top results of headlines about the shooting, which happened during a fight in front of the Lani Kai resort.

Jason Unger, owner of The Dog House, said when there’s crime scene tape on Fort Myers Beach, “it’s frustrating and it hurts my business.”

Typically busy with locals and tourists during the day, Wednesday was quiet and somber – for good reason. There’s a killer on the run.

“My first customer is when you guys walked up 20 minutes ago. I’ve been sitting here all morning doing nothing,” Unger said.

He’s convinced the violence is keeping people away, but he isn’t surprised it happened.

“You could have said that police were dispatched on Fort Myers Beach and I would’ve already told you where they were going,” he said. “I watch emergency vehicles all day long. It’s the normal.”

Jason Ingream, owner of Mango Rita’s in Times Square, is on the same page as Unger.

“Not surprised as to what happened,” he said.

Even though he’s not next door to the Lani Kai, he still worries what the shooting will do to his business.

“It’s worrisome and the fact that it’s maybe going to deter people from coming here.”

Mike Dunphy is staying with his family in a cottage near where the shooting took place.
He heard the shooting and he’s not sure he’ll ever forget it.

“Honestly, I just told my wife I don’t know if we would come back to Fort Myers. There are so many great beaches in Florida. I used to live on Pine Island when I was a young kid so I do have an allegiance to this area, but it’s not what I remember,” he said.

Unger said he wants to stay and keep his business on Fort Myers Beach, but he wants the town mayor and council to do something about the violence.

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