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Expert explains how violent neighbor disputes could have been prevented

Neighborhood shootings
Posted at 4:38 PM, Sep 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-13 07:55:31-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Over two days, there were two separate cases of people shooting at their neighbors in Lee County.

The most recent happened in northeast Cape Coral on Sunday night. A fight between neighbors over loud music led to gunfire.

Cape Coral Police say Glen Ginochio went to his neighbor's house armed to tell them to turn down the load music. He shot at them and the homeowners shot back, hitting Ginochio.

Just 24 hours earlier, another neighbor dispute in Alva. The Lee County Sheriff's Office says 32-year-old Caleb Hamilton had been arguing with his neighbors, who claimed Hamilton's children had been riding a side-by-side vehicle in their yard.

Saturday night, the dispute escalated to shots being fired by Hamilton, a police report shows.

A Florida Gulf Coast University mental health nurse practitioner says there's no definitive answer as to why we're seeing this type of escalation, but believes it could be because of personal matters.

"There’s a lot of stressors going on in their personal life, that you may not even be aware of," said Melissa Bogle.

She said it could be leading back to hurricane recovery, finances or a family situation.

"At any point in time you can encounter someone who’s kinda really at the end of their rope mentally," she said.

Bogle said this could lead to violence.

She weighed in on both shootings that happened in Lee County.
"There were a lot of steps that could’ve been taken much more preventatively to avoid getting into a situation like that in the first place," Bogle said.

Her main prevention: get to know your neighbors.

"Try to build trust, try to build open communication lines," Bogle explained.

She says if issues do come up, schedule a time to talk it out with your neighbors so you both will not be as reactive — you have time to think it through.

If it does start to escalate, Cape Coral Police spokesperson Officer Mercedes Phillips says do not hesitate to call police.

"When we come we can appropriately deescalate things and make sure that neighborhood stays in a state of peace versus a state of violence towards each other," Phillips said.

Bogle says you may not know what's going on in someone's life, so calmly talking issues out can lead to an improved environment for everyone.

"Take time to create this culture of open communication in your neighborhood," she said.