Deputy cleared in shooting of suspect in Estero last year

Posted at 2:09 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 14:09:55-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The State Attorney's Office has just cleared a Lee County deputy who shot and injured a suspect in Estero last November.

Investigators say Lieutenant James Heuglin used justified force against Trey Chenault during an incident in a wooded area off Via Coconut Point Road in Estero.

The state’s report says that on November 30, 2016, Lt. Heuglin was one of several Task Force members searching the wooded area for Chenault, who had a felony arrest warrant for him out of Fort Myers.  Members were informed that Chenault may be armed and he had made recent statements about not going back to jail and “suicide by cop”.

A group of five approached a campsite in the woods when Chenault emerged from a tent and began to run, placing a handgun to his own head along the way.  When a Task Force member commanded Chenault to drop the gun, he instead pointed it at Task Force members, leading to the gunfire by Lt. Heuglin.

Chenault was struck three times; in the neck, lower abdomen, and leg.  He was taken to Lee Memorial for treatment.

Chenault has not officially been charged because he's still in the hospital from his injuries.