The Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 17-year-old boy as a suspect in a Sunday morning shooting in Lehigh Acres.
Watch the LCSO press conference below or click here.
17-year-old Armando Cruz faces 11 charges: attempted murder (two counts), aggravated battery, shooting into an occupied conveyance, discharging a firearm in public, occupied burglary of a boat, juvenile with a firearm, aggravated rioting, possession of a firearm during a felony, & criminal mischief.
The street race in Lehigh Acres is just one of the many in the community. But in this case, it ended with two people getting shot. Questions regarding safety and when this will stop are mounting.
According to LCSO, a car club blocked the entire intersection of Milwaukee Boulevard and Homestead Road for a street race. An older couple heading to Key West attempted to drive through the intersection. Several people broke away from the larger group and jumped onto the couple’s truck and the boat it was towing.
A pistol was fired directly into the truck, allegedly by Cruz. Both victims drove away and got medical help.
Denise Tartaglia has lived in Lehigh Acres for 45 years. She’s always felt safe in the area despite believing there’s not enough enforcement in the city.
“I’m angry and I’m saddened. I don’t know why the police weren’t called sooner because there are houses real close to that intersection. I don’t know if they didn’t hear them. Or if they were afraid. I don’t know if they’re so used to it,” Tartaglia said.
“We never see cops out here unless there’s an accident at 82 and Columbus,” Tartaglia said.
According to Marceno, Cruz was also one of three suspects involved in the 2022 beating of a man in a wheelchair in North Fort Myers.
Two additional arrests were made in connection to the shooting. Nineteen-year-old Robert Moya and 22-year-old Savion Wood face charges of aggravated rioting after LCSO’s forensics team matched their fingerprints with those found on the victims’ truck.
In a Facebook post, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno described the investigation as “an around-the-clock effort” to find the “worst-of-the-worst of violent criminals.”
Sheriff Marceno took the time to explain his deputies are ready if anyone plans to hurt somebody in his jurisdiction.
“What we have done immediately is we started a task force. That task force is comprised of investigators intelligence, violent crimes, Major Crimes patrol, and we’re going to be out in full force, we have tripled those numbers,” Marceno said.
But Tartaglia was somewhat confused by ‘tripled those numbers’ because she doesn’t believe there were enough deputies on the streets before.
“Need to know how many we have out here because it’s 104 square miles. And it’s building constantly and I don’t think we have enough police presence,” Tartaglia said.
According to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers, Cruz was found thanks to an anonymous tip.
Marceno insisted in the press conference that more arrests would be made.