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'I believe it was payback': Fort Myers Police seek masked gunmen in cold case

Gunmen killed Torry Chrisp in 2008
Posted at 2:28 PM, Jun 20, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Behind every face and every action, there's a name. The search for those names is where the journey begins.

Fox 4's Senior Reporter Kaitlin Knapp is on a mission to get to know the names we know, and perhaps find the ones we don't - along with the detectives working in the same communities you call home.

In Fox 4's series called "Sunshine Crimes," we are going across Southwest Florida to tell the stories of people waiting for justice.

One family has been waiting since May 6, 2008. A few miles outside of downtown, you'll find the Brookside Village apartments off of Marsh Avenue.

Inside apartment 105 was 21-year-old Torry Chrisp.

"He was in a first floor apartment with six, there was, total of six men in there and they were playing cards," said Fort Myers Cold Case Detective Richard Harasym.

Out of nowhere, two men came barging in the back door wearing ski masks.

"Both guns, according to our witnesses, were both in plastic bags, which I never heard of before," Harasym explained.

He believes the men didn't want to leave behind any shell casings. Chrisp was hit in the chest and back, while another man was shot in the leg.

"Now after all the men were shot, they ran out the front door with the gunmen following them out the front door," Harasym said.

Chrisp and another man ran across the street through a field, not knowing where the gunmen were. Harasym says they were back at the apartment, hopping into a white car.

"Their intent was to follow him and try to finish him off," Harasym said. "I hate to say it, but he was running for his life. He didn't know how fatal he was shot."

Chrisp and his friend ran to Whitehear Creek Loop. The white car pulled up around the corner and Harasym says someone inside the vehicle tried to shoot Chrisp again. Chrisp was laying on the ground.

"His friend kind of hovers over Torry, protecting his body," Harasym said.

They didn't hit Chrisp then, but he died from the earlier bullet wounds.

Harasym said this was clearly targeted.

"I believe it was payback for something that Torry may have done, may have been involved in," he said.

As for the white car, Harasym says it went past the now crowded apartment.

"Someone in the crowd took a shot at that white car," he said.

But, the car took off. Detectives searched for it, and tried to find any story of evidence at the scene.

A forensics detective found a shoe print near the back door. The detective took a picture just in case it ended up being part of the investigation.

Two weeks later — there was a break in the case. Investigators found the white car.

"In the car was a ski mask. In the car are a number of guns legally possessed by the driver of the car," Harasym said.

Detectives also found two bullets and they had an idea who was in the car. However, they needed more evidence.

So they got the shoe print, and compared it to the potential suspect's shoe. Harasym says that person was in jail on an unrelated charge, so police had access to their property.

Harasym found a shoe print expert at the Cape Coral Police Department.

"She [detective] looked at the crime scene photo of the shoe print," he explained. "I gave her the shoes from the property bureau and she says it's the same size sneaker, shoe. Same style, model."

Harasym says he has quite a bit of evidence, and remember there were five people in that apartment, so someone must have seen something. Unfortunately, the detective cannot go back and talk to them.

"Two of those five are now deceased, victims themselves of a homicide," he said.

With fewer people to talk to, Harasym's job becomes more difficult. But, he says it also takes a community to solve a crime.

"I think what we really need is maybe one or two more bits of evidence," Harasym said.

The detective hopes there's another eyewitness placing the gunmen in the apartment and under the ski mask. Harasym believes he's 95% there, but needs your help.

"No one in this world has a right to take a life of another person, regardless of what they did," he said. "They were bent on killing Torry Chrisp."

If you know anything about the murder of Torry Chrisp, you're asked to call the Fort Myers Police Department. You can also submit an anonymous tip to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS. There's a cash reward of $5,000 for all southwest Florida cold cases.