Sanibel family gets close call during police shootout Sunday night

Posted at 6:51 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 18:51:52-05

SANIBEL, Fla. -- One Southwest Florida family didn't just hear the gunfight between Jon Hay and Sanibel Police Sunday night, they found evidence of the shootout that they say is too close for comfort.

Just about everyone has their own account of the shooting in the quiet Sanibel neighborhoord known as The Dunes.

'We were sitting on the couch and my wife said 'what is that?' And of course we found out later it was gunshots.  Lisa Lawler, who lives in a home along Sand Castle Road, says she didn't just hear the bullets, she saw them after they went through her home.  "I mean at the time we weren't really scared because we weren't sure what was going on, but yea it's a little scary to know that kind of thing can go on right here."

Bullets flew outside her home as 49-year-old John Hay got in a shootout with Sanibel Police.  But before police and Lee County Sheriff's deputies caught Hay at his home on Sand Castle Road, she heard the shootout just outside of hers.

The bullets, landed in her daughter's bedroom.  "We haven't quite figured out what we're going to tell her yet, since she wasn't here and she's on her way home for Thanksgiving."

A bedroom with bullets isn't the Thanksgiving weekend welcome home she's expecting.  But then, a shootout in Sanibel wasn't anticipated either.

With the island's first officer-involved shooting happening just days before we sit at the dinner table and give thanks, its a reminder that anything can happen at anytime.  "You know it just brings home that it happens everywhere, and that's the culture we're living in right now."

Sanibel Police say it all started Sunday night when an officer made a routine traffic stop.  As the officer was making the traffic stop, Hay reportedly drove by and fired a shot at the officer and fled the scene.  He was later tracked down to the Dunes neighborhood, where he was apprehended in his home after more shots were fired.

The officer has since been released from the hospital.