© 2022 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fort Myers Shooting Leaves Two Dead, 18 Wounded

Update 08/16/16  

One of three men arrested shortly after the Club Blu mass shooting in Fort Myers was in court Tuesday. 

Demetrius O’Neal appeared with his lawyer to plead not guilty to one count of resisting arrest. It is a misdemeanor charge.

O’Neal, Tajze Battle and Derrick Church were arrested the night of the shooting. Court documents say police received a call roughly a half hour after the shooting about a suspicious vehicle that was "unloading an injured party near a dumpster" in a nearby apartment complex.

Police responded to the call and tried to pull over a vehicle that resembled the description. Church was allegedly driving and fled. A Lee County Sheriff's Office deputy eventually used a maneuver with his car to force Church's car to stop.

O'Neal and Battle allegedly fled, and were eventually apprehended. 

The deputy was out of his car and ready to chase the two when Church "accelerated and drove the vehicle directly at theLCSOdeputy." The deputy shot Church in the abdomen and Church stopped the car.

He was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital that night, treated and released. 

Battle is also charged with resisting arrest. He has pled not guilty.

Church is charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault of an officer. Both are felonies. Church will be arraigned later this month.

Update 08/01/16

A Lehigh Acres woman has been arrested in connection with the Club Blu shootings. Jazmin Barron was arrested and charged with making false statements in records kept by a federal firearms licensee.

A press release by the United States Department of Justice said Barron allegedly lied about where she was living when she purchased a firearm in February. 

That weapon was later recovered near Club Blu in Fort Myers, shortly after two people were killed and about 18 injured in a shooting that took place in the club's parking lot. Barron faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison. 

---

Three people are in custody, so far, in connection with a shooting that left twopeople dead and 18 wounded at a local club for teenagers and at a Fort Myers residence. 

The Fort Myers Police Department reports the two victims who have died as a result of their injuries include 14-year-old Sean Archilles and 18-year-old Stef'an Strawder.  Strawder was about to enter his senior year at Lehigh Acres High School.

The shooting happened at the parking lot of Club Blu in Fort Myers.Police responded at about 12:30 am, where they found several people suffering from gunshot wounds—some minor and some life-threatening. 

club_blu_2.jpg

Club Blu said in a Facebook post that it had hosted an event for middle school and high school students. They said it was a safe place for kids ages 12 to 17 with security inside and out. The shooting happened as the club was closing and parents were picking up their children.

A Flyer Promoting the Club Blu Event
A Flyer Promoting the Club Blu Event

The victims are reported to be between 12 and 27 years old.  Most of them were treated at Lee Memorial hospital with one patient taken to Cape Coral Hospital, one to Gulf Coast Medical Center and one possibly taken to Healthpark Hospital. 

Three patients remain at Lee Memorial hospital with one in fair condition and two in critical condition in the ICU. At a press conference this morning, Lee Memorial Health System Trauma Surgeon Dr. DrewMikulaschekconfirms patients were treated for gunshot wounds. 

Dr. Drew Mikulaschek, Trauma Surgeon Lee Memorial Hospital
Credit Amy Tardif
/
Dr. Drew Mikulaschek, Trauma Surgeon Lee Memorial Hospital

  "I’ve seen worse, but for it to be in our community, I think everybody feels a little bit of shock,” said Dr.Mikulaschek.  “This is not something we’re used to. We do have our own little knife and gun club; not in this type of volume.  I’ve been here for now 17 years and in terms of gunshot wound victims, this is the worst I’ve even seen.” WGCU's Amy Tardif speaks with WGCU's John Davis from a Lee Memorial Hospital press conference about the 20 victims of Monday morning's shooting in Fort Myers.

The Fort Myers Police Department says many of the victims who were taken to the hospital or sought treatment on their own were discharged before law enforcement had an opportunity to interview them.  Those patients are encouraged to contact theFMPD, as they may have information to help the investigation.

Fort Myers Shooting Leaves Two Dead, 18 Wounded

Health system officials characterize the shooting as a trauma alert, but not a mass causality incident.  

Jermaine Wilson lives near the club. He said when he got home last night, he saw people running away from the club as police were arriving.

Wilson said he walked over there in the aftermath and saw one man on the ground and a girl who was shot in the leg. He describes the scene as "chaos."

Jermaine Wilson lives next to Club Blu and got home just as people were running and cops were coming.
Credit Topher Forhecz / WGCU News
/
WGCU News
Jermaine Wilson lives next to Club Blu and got home just as people were running and cops were coming.

"It's crazy. You can't let your kids go anywhere," he said. "I don't think there should be kids 12 years old in a club like this anyway."

Fort Myers Police Department said in a press release this shooting is linked to another shooting at a local residence. Only one victim was wounded there. 

FMPD said Ortiz Avenue is safe at this time, but the roadway will remained closed as the investigation continues. Evans Avenue was closed betweenCarrellRoad and Winkler Ave, but is now open to traffic. 

The Fort Myers Police Department said in press release they’re canvassing the area for anyone who may have involved. 

Governor Rick Scott released a statement this morning stating he’s spoken with Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson, Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott and Fort Myers Interim Police Chief DennisEadsand is offering state assistance. 

Scott has canceled his scheduled events today and is heading to Fort Myers at this time.  The statement from the Governor’s office reads, “While we are still learning the details about what happened this morning, we know that some of the victims of this terrible incident were children.  We will continue to pray for the victims and their families.” 

Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to contact the Fort Myers Police Department at 239-321-7700.  Tipsters can also contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS or text C-R-I-M-E-S (274637) with keyword FMPD.  Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Image from the shooting scene.
Topher Forhecz / WGCU News
/
WGCU News
Image from the shooting scene.

Image from the shooting scene.
Topher Forhecz / WGCU News
/
WGCU News
Image from the shooting scene.

Image from the shooting scene.
Topher Forhecz / WGCU News
/
WGCU News
Image from the shooting scene.

Image from the shooting scene.
Topher Forhecz / WGCU News
/
WGCU News
Image from the shooting scene.

Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of All Things Consideredfor WGCU News.
Topher is a reporter at WGCU News.
Amy Tardif
Amy Tardif is WGCU’s FM Station Manager and News Director. She oversees a staff of 10 full and part-time people and interns in news, production and the radio reading service. Her program Lucia's Letter on human trafficking received a coveted Peabody Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, a gold medal from the New York Festivals and 1 st place for Best Documentary from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. She was the first woman in radio to Chair RTDNA, having previously served as Chair-Elect and the Region 13 representative on its Board of Directors for which she helped write an e-book on plagiarism and fabrication. She also serves on the FPBS Board of Directors and served on the PRNDI Board of Directors from 2007 -2012. Tardif has been selected twice to serve as a managing editor for NPR's Next Generation Radio Project. She served on the Editorial Integrity for Public Media Project helping to write the section on employee's activities beyond their public media work. She was the producer and host of Gulf Coast Live Arts Editionfor 8 years and spent 14 years asWGCU’slocal host of NPR's Morning Edition. Amy spent five years as producer and managing editor ofWGCU-TV’sformer monthly environmental documentary programs In Focus on the Environmentand Earth Edition.Prior to joiningWGCUPublic Media in 1993, she was the spokesperson for the Fort Myers Police Department, spent 6 years reporting and anchoring for television stations in Fort Myers and Austin, Minnesota and reported forWUSFPublic Radio in Tampa. Amy has two sons in college and loves fencing, performing in local theater and horseback riding.
John Davis has been a full-time Reporter/Producer for WGCU since 2009. He is the local host for NPRââââ