A report on the Fort Myers Police Department’s investigation into a shooting in downtown Fort Myers on August 14 sheds light on how they identified their suspect.
The report details 23-year-old Shanquisha Perry’s, the victim, account of events, what led up to the shooting, and how police identified Jasmine Battle, 29, as the suspect in the shooting.
According to the report, the shooting incident began when Perry entered Celcius nightclub and was ‘bullied’ by three women and a man. Perry later identified one of the women as Battle and the man as Willie Daniel James Jr.
Police say Perry left the club because she was being ‘bullied’ by the group for a post she had made on Facebook. Police say Battle and Perry went back and forth for months over the Facebook post and say Battle told friends she wanted to fight Perry.
Surveillance video from a nearby parking lot captured the confrontation and shooting.
The report describes the video as showing a man and two women walking in the parking lot toward a car in a parking space. Perry told police that the three people had followed her back to her car, and she told them to leave her alone.
In the video, the report says the man is seen kicking Perry’s car before she drives out of the parking space. That is when a woman in a grey shirt is seen taking a gun from a nearby car and handing it to a woman in a yellow shirt. Perry later identified the woman in yellow as Battle, according to the report.
The woman identified as Battle is seen pointing the gun at the car as it drives away before firing a single shot into the back window. The report says that the bullet hit Perry in the back, paralyzing her from the waist down and causing her to crash their car into several other vehicles nearby.
“The victim is still in the hospital and is paralyzed,” said a prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office during Battle’s first appearance.
The report says Battle then put the gun back in the car it was initially taken from and appeared to be celebrating in the parking lot. According to the report, the car the gun was pulled from in the video was registered to Battle.
Roughly 10 minutes after the shooting, the report says the car registered to Battle was seen driving east on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
“This happened in a public place with innocent bystanders as clubs were letting out,” said a prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office.
Investigators searched the scene and found a single shell casing in the parking space where Battle’s car had been, as well as a piece of paper from DCF with Battle’s name and date of birth on it.
While Perry was recovering in the hospital, investigators showed her two photo lineups, and she picked out Battle and James Jr. Investigators say they showed Perry a still from the surveillance video and identified Battle as the woman who was seen in the video firing the gun.
Battle turned herself in after Fort Myers police announced they were looking for her concerning the shooting.
During Battle’s first appearance, her mother said, “She’s a victim also. You know.”
The prosecutor described Battle as dangerous and “A threat to the community.”
She is facing charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, firing a gun into a vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a felon. She is being held in the Lee County Jail without bond due to a probation violation.
The shooting sparked a debate about the safety of downtown Fort Myers. City Councilman Liston Bochette said the city must ensure the safety and security of everyone who works and visits downtown, which began a series of conversations and meetings on how to do exactly that.
One idea is already in place, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office mobile command center, but the Fort Myers Police Department has had a surveillance camera system in place for years.
Those cameras captured the shooting, and since that day, police have re-evaluated how they protect and serve.
“Can we do a little bit better in this area? What do we need to change? What do we need to update?” asked Fort Myers Police Major Jason Fields.
Not only did an FMPD camera capture the shooting, but the ShotSpotter system also heard the gunfire, and officers responded immediately.
Councilman Fred Burson said he doesn’t think the shooting means downtown is dangerous. “In today’s society seems like everybody’s carrying a gun, and somebody gets a little intoxicated. Next thing, you know, it’s a fight between two individuals.”
Other council members feel that the FMPD cameras and the LCSO mobile command center are not close to enough. They want more, and they are planning to discuss changes in upcoming meetings.