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LCSO: Hot dog stand owner, suspected shooter had "normal conversation" before Lehigh Acres shooting

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Posted at 5:51 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 18:34:33-04

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Fox 4 has confirmed that the man shot at a Lehigh Acres hot dog stand is 26-year-old Kelvis Maiguel, according to his family. The suspected shooter is 25-year-old James William Gonzalez.

On Tuesday, the Lee County Sheriff's Office says a deputy nearby heard gunshots at the plaza off of Homestead Road South and Milwaukee Boulevard.

According to a police report, the deputy saw a man, later identified as Maiguel, working at the hot dog stand with his girlfriend.

His step-dad tells Fox 4 Maiguel had been working at the stand for a year and only earned tips while giving the rest back to his mother. She had dreamed of opening up a hot dog stand.

Neighbors in the Mirror Lakes area say they see Maiguel at the corner all the time.

"Every once in a while I pass by and he’s sitting and I wave," said Maggie Raymond, who's talked to Maiguel before. "The only conversation I had with him I asked him how you’re doing, how are things going. Sometimes he said well things are very slow."

According to the report, Gonzalez approached Maiguel while he was working. There had appeared to be no issue and the two were having a "normal conversation," Maiguel's girlfriend said. She also stated in the report that Maiguel went to wash his hands as if he was preparing to make food for Gonzalez. That's when she looked down and almost immediately heard two gunshots.

The deputy nearby had also looked down for a few moments before hearing two to three gunshots.

When the deputy rushed over, Gonzalez made eye contact with the deputy and started running through a wood line on the side of the plaza, the report states.

The deputy said in the report they yelled at Gonzalez to stop, but he did not. While he was running, the deputy stopped chasing him in their car. The deputy saw Maiguel fall to the ground. The report says the deputy gave the dispatchers the last location of Gonzalez before rushing to help Maiguel.

According to the police report, Maiguel had been shot two or three times.

Meanwhile, other deputies started searching for Gonzalez. K-9 officers and the Sheriff's Office helicopter were utilized and found Gonzalez about a quarter-mile away.

Deputies say he resisted arrest, was tased, and "apprehended by a K-9."

Gonzalez chose not to speak with detectives. He is being charged with aggravated battery with a firearm and resisting without violence.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Underwater Operations Team with the Sheriff's Office was out behind the plaza and diving into a nearby lake. When Fox 4 asked if it's connected to the shooting or what they're looking for, a spokesperson said it's an "active investigation."

Maiguel's step-dad says Maiguel will have another surgery on Thursday and he's still in the ICU.

The family says Gonzalez and Maiguel live near each but had never met before. The motive behind the shooting is not yet known.