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Library director stabbed to death was loved by community

Posted: 8:33 AM, Jan 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-21 08:33:06-05

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. -- The Lee County Sheriff's Office says the director of the Fort Myers Beach Library was murdered Sunday morning. Friends and co-workers of Leroy Hommerding talked to Fox 4 about how he left his mark on the library community.

Coworkers remember Hommerding as a gentle giant. “He was kind, he was generous,” said Sallie Seabury, President of the Fort Myers Beach Library Board.

Hommerding was stabbed to death while he was opening the library doors for the second day of a weekend book sale.

Kim Frease, a volunteer at the library who worked with Hommerding for 15 years, is still in shock. “It’s just unfortunate. And that’s not even words right now that I’m feeling. It was really unfortunate,” Frease said.

The incident happened around 9 a.m. Police have arrested the suspect Adam M. Soules, a homeless man who visited the library frequently. Deputies say Soules is facing charges of second degree murder.

Frease says Hommerding was always helping his people. “He was hands-on with everything here, with volunteers with the community,” Frease said.

His passion was the library, friends say, and he will be cherished in their memories. “He was the heart of the library,” Seabury said.