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Florida man brings loaded shotgun to Fort Myers gym

Posted at 6:59 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-16 19:00:20-05

A Florida man is behind bars after bringing a loaded shotgun to a Fort Myers boxing gym. Police say 32 year old Craig Stephens walked into Team Willis Boxing Gym through the back door as a class was ending for the night.

"We had the back door open because the AC was out and he just walked right in," Larry Willis, the owner of the gym said. "We knew he wasn't supposed to be here."

Willis tells Four In Your Corner he became suspicious of Stephens because he walked through the back door where personal items and equipment is stored. When a trainer asked Stephens what was inside the bag he responded he had a baseball bat.

Witnesses say Stephens was acting "kind of crazy" and believed he may have been coming down off a high. One of the gym clients noticed there was a shotgun wrapped in clothing sticking out of the bag.

According to Fort Myers Police, Stephens tried grabbing the loaded shot gun and that's when two clients punched him twice in the face.

"According to police he had already robbed somebody," Willis said. "The stuff he had was stolen, he burglarized a resident which is why he had so many things with him. He also had the loaded shotgun which we think was stolen."

Willis tells Four In Your Corner clients were trying to hold him down until police arrived on scene since Stephens had a loaded gun. Later on, a person in the area called police reporting a suspicious person covered in blood walking in the area. The description given to police matched Stephens and arrested him after witnesses identified he was the man described by the concerned caller.

Stephens was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital for his injuries and later booked at the Lee County Jail. Records show the 32 year old has been arrested 32 times in the past decade.

"I just thank God all the kids mostly had left and it was only the guys here when it happened," Willis said. "He was just looking for a place to hide out and he just happened to walk in to a boxing gym. I want people to know it's safe to train here."