The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate a shooting involving a Fort Myers police officer and a suspect Wednesday morning.
The shooting happened around 10 a.m. and caused a shutdown on Fowler Street for more than half of the day.
According to FMPD, the encounter with the suspect began at 9:45 a.m. when a suspicious vehicle attempted to enter a secure area of Fort Myers Police Department headquarters on Widman Way.
Police officers attempted to investigate by speaking with the subject who was the only person in a silver sedan.
“The driver then attempted to drive away out of the parking lot of the Fort Myers Police Department, nearly striking one of the officers that was investigating,” said Officer Kristin Capuzzi, a public information officer with FMPD.
Police officers followed the vehicle and attempteddj a felony traffic stop on Fowler St. just south of Thompson Street.
We did not learn Wednesday what led to an officer pulling out his gun, but police say he was forced to shoot it at some point during the chase. It’s unconfirmed whether the suspect had a weapon during the encounter with police.
According to the FMPD press release, “During the following events, one of our officers was forced to use his duty-issued firearm. The suspect then drove into the retention point where officers entered the water to rescue the suspect who was then transported to Lee Memorial Hospital for medical treatment.”
The suspect was shot and taken to Lee Memorial Hospital to be treated for his injuries. The status of his condition also unknown Wednesday.
The suspect’s car crashed through a fence and landed in a retention pond.
Police say they likely saved the driver when they jumped in the pond to get them out of the car.
A woman who works at the Butterfly Estates said she saw a cop get out of his car, start to run and draw his weapon.
“He said get down and hold your hands up, don’t move, and then, I thought it would be over, but then, there was a shooting and I heard a pop, pop, pop,” the woman said. “And that’s when we all just ran upstairs because we work in a glass house.”
Businesses in the area went on temporary lockdown but were later reopened, employees confirmed.
“I saw the policeman with a gun, fired a very controlled two-round shot, is what I heard, and then, got back in his vehicle and went through the light. I heard the crash,” said Tina Noel, who witnessed the shooting.
The shooting caused traffic to back up as vehicles traveling south on the Edison Bridge were diverted east onto First Street.
“What I saw was very controlled training,” Noel said.
It’s unclear if the suspect was shot at while in his vehicle or outside the vehicle.
No officers were injured during the encounter or the shooting.
The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard department policy, Fort Myers police said.
FMPD will investigate the criminal activity of the suspect, but FDLE is tasked with investigating the actions of the officer and whether shooting their agency-issued weapon was justifiable.
Police told us they expect to release the name of the driver Thursday.
We don’t know the charges the suspect could face yet.