18-year-old Alabama man arrested for Fort Myers Beach Memorial Day shooting

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Jatavion Kaijal Adams Craig (Credit: LCSO booking photo)

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce an arrest was made in the shooting that occurred Monday on Fort Myers Beach.

The suspect is 18-year-old Jatavion Kaijal Adams Craig of Eufala, Alabama. Sheriff Carmine Marceno says he fired several rounds at the beach during the Memorial Day incident and then got away from the scene. Local police found and arrested him in southeastern Alabama.

“Our detectives are there now as we speak, and they are bringing this thug back to Lee County to face his charges,” Marceno said during the press conference. “Let me make myself clear, this violence and reckless disregard for human life will not be tolerated in our county.”

Marceno said Craig has family ties to Lee County but is not a resident.

Deputies say a group of people began fighting and someone fired a gun on the beach, which was crowded for Memorial Day. They released photos of two men they wanted to question, hoping someone would identify them. One of them was later confirmed to not be a suspect but rather a witness investigators wanted to speak with.

No one was injured in the shooting.

Craig faces charges for aggravated assault with a firearm and discharging a firearm in public, and he could still face added charges.

Craig was booked into the Lee County jail early Friday and went before a judge hours later. Bond was set at $325,000, and because LCSO considers him to be a flight risk, he’ll have to wear a GPS monitor if he released from jail.

People told us they’re thankful the suspect is in custody. They’re also thankful no one was shot while crowds of people were here enjoying the holiday.

“Citizens who choose to enjoy a day at the beach will not be disturbed and terrified with chaos,” Marceno said.

Now, many we spoke to hope the shooting doesn’t hurt tourism and keep people away from Fort Myers Beach.

“If you’re here as a tourist, you’re here for a couple days. You can get in trouble, go home. You think nobody knows anything,” said David Proulx.

After the shooting, investigators say tips came flooding in, leading them to Craig.

“I guarantee you 99.9% of the people that come here and visit, they’re awesome. I love it. I love tourist season down here,” Proulx said. “People are great. They’re fun. But you always got that .1%.”

Because of the holiday weekend, more deputies were patrolling the beach, which meant a faster response time. That’s one reason why people say they feel comfortable and safe coming back.

“Things happen all the time,” said Alec Paulsell. “Tempers flare, beef, you know there’s beef within everyone here. But hopefully, it won’t escalate to that kind of circumstance going forward.”

You can watch the LCSO press conference announcing Craig’s arrest below or by clicking here.

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