The Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a deadly officer-involved shooting in North Fort Myers Thursday. Sheriff Carmine Marceno says responding deputies shot and killed a man who ran toward them with a gun at the Aloha Motel.
In a presser at the scene, Sheriff Marceno says deputies were dispatched at around 1:30 p.m. to the Aloha Motel along N Tamiami Trail for a well-being checkup on a white male in his sixties.
When deputies arrived on scene, Marceno said the man they were responding to exited his motel room with a rifle on him, pointed it at deputies and ran toward them.
“Our deputies gave verbal commands and were placed in fear for their life and safety,” Marceno said.
The sheriff said deputies fired their guns at the man running toward them, and he was struck by their bullets a few times.
“The subject went down. Our deputies immediately began CPR on that subject until they were relieved by EMS,” Marceno said.
The sheriff said EMS worked to perform lifesaving measures on the man until he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, following standard protocol. The deputies were not injured.
“It’s not an accusation that something is wrong,” said Rich Kolko, WINK News’ Safety & Security Specialist. “But they’ve got a lot of things to do. First of all, it’s a very traumatic situation for an officer to go through.”
Kolko explained the unknowns law enforcement are always dealing with on the job.
“A lot of times, the police don’t really know what they’re walking into,” Kolko said. “So it can often be a very dangerous situation.”
LCSO has not released the name of the man killed at the scene.
The investigation is ongoing. Two northbound lanes of N Tamiami Trail remained blocked at the scene as of 11 p.m. due to the investigation.
Neighbors react to shooting near homes
Many people who live nearby are unsettled after hearing the shots fired. Neighbors we spoke to heard loud bangs not far from their homes.
“Like gunshots. Next thing we know, there’s cops in front of the house. There’s a bunch of cops here, 30, 40 cars, which I’ve never really seen,” neighbor Tomas Diaz said.
“I heard several shots, and I knew it was something that wasn’t firecrackers or cherry bombs,” pastor Les Morgan said. “So I was wondering what is that about.”
“Like 30 cops,” neighbor Kylie Kirkland said. “There was an ambulance, there was firetrucks, there was investigators, there is a bunch of stuff going on.”
At first, most people we spoke didn’t know why the line of deputies were near their homes.
“I was thinking, ‘All this for an accident?‘” Kirkland said. “But there’s no way all of this is for an accident. I was like, ‘Something had to have happened.’”
For the time being, they just knew they couldn’t get home.
“Like 30 minutes just sitting there dead stop for like 15,” Kirkland said. “To how log it took to get through and get to my house especially because of its right on my street.”
Finding out a man was shot and killed by deputies at a motel just down the street didn’t make for calm thoughts.
“Yeah, it’s scary, worrisome,” Diaz said.
Tomas Diaz says he’s lived off Tamiami Trail for three years now and hates hearing this happened so close to home.
“I’m glad that I’m moving,” Diaz said. “This a pretty quiet area. We don’t really deal with stuff like that.”
Just blocks away, pastor Morgan told us it’s difficult for the entire community.
“I’m sure sorry this other situation happened,” Morgan said. “Our heart goes out to the people hurt, and it’s a very difficult setting there.”