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Downtown Fort Myers shooting has nearby business concerned about safety

Posted at 12:53 AM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 07:50:42-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Fort Myers Police responded to a shooting early Monday morning on Hendry Street and Main Street that resulted in a chase that led them to Lehigh Acres, where they found the vehicle they were chasing - but not the driver.

While nobody was injured or killed in the shooting, it has some surrounding businesses worried about an uptick in crime.

“We see it progressively getting worse. Worse and worse, all the time," says Michael Beck, the manager of Tac-o-Rama, a nearby restaurant in the downtown corridor.

The shooting happened right outside of Celsius and The Indigo Room, with several bullets entering The Indigo Room.

A bartender with The Indigo Room tells Fox 4 that up to five bullets entered the building - three bullet holes evident near the stage, and possibly two more entering the upstairs area.

But Beck says at this point, the violence doesn't shock him.

“I’m not surprised that guns have been pulled, we’ve heard shots in the area before. Across the parking lot, we do hear shots fired over there occasionally," he says.

He says that shootings aren't the only things that he's tired of seeing in the Downtown River District.

“There’s a lot of fights. A lot of drug dealing. We have prostitution, we have homeless wandering through here all the time,” Beck explains.

He thinks that those issues need to be addressed so that people keep visiting downtown.

“We want to make sure that it’s an enjoyable experience, we want to make sure that everyone has a good time down here and they leave with good memories. We don’t to leave a bad taste in anybody’s mouth when they’re down here with us," he says.

A bad taste, he worries, that could be hard to shake.

“I think it’s putting the wrong vibe out that we’re possibly drawing in some of the wrong crowds that we don’t necessarily want in the area."

For visitors to feel safe, he says that businesses need to be able to feel the same. But right now, that's now what he's feeling.

“We feel unsafe here at times, and we’re not sure what to do about it,” Beck says.

Fox 4 has reached out to Fort Myers Police and Lee County Sheriff's Office for a response to Beck's concerns. We've also reached out for additional information on the shooting itself. The suspect is still at large at this time.

If you would like to report any information about the whereabouts of the suspect, you're encouraged to call 800-780-TIPS or text your tip with the P-3 Tips app.