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Fort Myers family wishing more was done after man's barricaded death

Dunbar Street Barricaded man
Posted at 4:04 PM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 05:26:57-04

FORT MYERS, Fla.  — On Wednesday, Fort Myers Police confirmed Marvin Barton, 45, died in his attic, barricading himself from police that surrounded his home on Dunbar Ave. in Fort Myers on Tuesday.

Stephanie Johnson, who says Barton is her cousin, said she arrived at his home just after police had used tear gas to try and remove Barton.

"I know Marvin is not a bad person, and if they would have just talked to Marvin, and not in a fashion where they were going to arrest him, but let him know he was going to be okay,” said Johnson.

Johnson said she had just been with Barton earlier that day.

“When I came over here yesterday, I told him that I was going to come back. When I came back, the officers had already surrounded the house,” said Johnson.

A statement from Fort Myers Police Department (FMPD) said officers were executing a felony search warrant for charges of aggravated battery and kidnapping against Barton when they say he immediately fled into the home’s attic.

During negotiations, detectives learned that Barton was under the influence of drugs.

Johnson confirmed Barton did smoke marijuana. We also asked her about his felony charges.

“If it was a felony and a charge that serious, I and Marvin were sitting out here (outside his home) the day before the police officer parked right there … why didn't they just get Marvin then?" asked Johnson.

Eventually, investigators say the SWAT team entered the home where they found Barton dead in the attic.

Public Information Officer, Kristin Capuzzi with the Fort Myers Police Department says the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) was not required to conduct an investigation but says FMPD requested they get involved to ensure transparency.

As for Barton’s family members, they say they are still working to find clarity around what happened.

“It happened so fast, I don't understand. I don't understand. I'm trying to understand it, but I don't understand,” said Johnson.

Family members say Barton planned to check himself into a drug rehabilitation center and was working to get better.

As of Wednesday, we're still working to learn more about Marvin's cause of death.