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Neighboring business worried about safety after early morning shooting in downtown Fort Myers

Downtown Fort Myers Shooting
Posted at 5:02 PM, Aug 15, 2022

FORT MYERS, Fla. — An early Sunday morning downtown Fort Myers shooting has business owners on Monday questioning their safety.

On Monday, Fort Myers police said the Second Street paid parking lot shooting sent one person to the hospital.

The early morning shooting happened just across the street from Fort Myers City Hall, where Monday night, council members were talking about crime prevention during the city council meeting.

On Monday we requested to speak with Fort Myers Police about the shooting and spurred conversations on public safety from people who work down here.

Marika Weiss, whose business, Peters Ice Cream & Coffee Shop on Hendry Street, sits across from the parking lot where investigators say the shooting happened around 1:55 AM on Sunday.

“We heard it in the morning from people, they walk around here and they told us,” said Weiss.

On Sunday morning as people passed the ice cream and coffee shop she said the common thing she heard was messages of concern.

“It's a beautiful area we love it here, to be here, but ya it's a little bit concerning,” said Weiss.

On Monday, others like Karen Bevelle, who works downtown told us the opposite.

“I feel safe here, I see police patrolling all the time,” said Bevelle.

We asked Fort Myers Police to help us understand the context to understand why police think they have enough resources.

The shooting location also runs along Main street, where six months ago a separate shooting sparked an investigation outside Celsius Nightclub.

In a statement, Public Information Officer Kristin Capuzzi said:

The Fort Myers Police Department is committed to keeping the downtown corridor safe and enjoyable, along with the entire city. We have an increased amount of officers assigned to the downtown area each weekend. Unfortunately, every incident cannot be deterred. As we confirmed, Officers were on scene at the time and rendered medical aide within seconds.

It takes all of us to keep our city safe, to include the community. We always encourage community members to See Something Say Something.

We encourage all legally authorized persons who carry a firearm to do so in a responsible manner, unfortunately this is not always the case, which leads to senseless gun violence incidents.
Kristin Capuzzi , Fort Myers Police Department

On Monday, Capuzzi did not address our questions about if police are considering additional safety measures.

“I know that there are incidences that happen, things happen, unfortunately, people lose their temper, it doesn't matter where they are,” said Bevelle.

While some feel safe, back at Weiss shop, she says hours of operation could be changing.

“We decided to open until 10 in the evenings but now maybe we think about closing at 9," said Weiss.

On Monday, Weiss said the closing time question is still on her mind.

“People change at that hour, you can feel it from 8-9..it changes,” said Weiss.

Capuzzi said the Second Street parking lot and the area around Main Street is a focus area for Officers, saying they don't have repeat issues as they do there, in other parts of the city.

This is an ongoing investigation and we will update you with the latest.