Suspect identified in Fort Myers food mart shooting

Posted at 1:30 PM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 06:23:49-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Investigators have identified the man they say was robbing a food mart store Tuesday night when an employee was shot and injured.

34-year-old Jean Andris has been charged with Robbery with a Firearm, Aggravated Battery, and Carrying a Concealed Weapon.

According to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, the shooting happened at the "Diskount Family Food Mart" on Cypress Drive in the Pine Manor neighborhood of Fort Myers.

Investigators say Andris was asked to leave the store around 7:30 p.m. for drinking in the parking lot and hindering customers. A short time later he returned. and approached the clerk as if to buy more alcohol.  Instead, the clerk says Andris pulled a gun out and demanded cash.

Witnesses then say a struggle broke out between employees and Andris, fighting over the gun, which fired and struck an employee.

That employee was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Over the years, the Pine Manor neighborhood has developed a reputation which earned it the nickname "crime manor." However, the resident coordinator at the Pine Manor Community Center says the often used moniker is no longer an accurate representation of the neighborhood. 

"We are no longer crime manor, we are Pine Manor," said Shari Clark. "We are really trying hard to change the stigma."

The Pine Manor Community Center is a non-profit which provides social services to residents.

The center was established in 2012 and now offers several programs including a community garden, food bank, and an aftercare youth facility. Since opening it's door crime in the neighborhood reduced by nearly 50%, according to data from the Lee County Sheriff's Office (LCSO).

In 2012 there were 271 crimes reported to LCSO; most of them were regarding residential burglaries. The following year 234 crimes were reported. In 2014 there were 162, and 134 in 2015. Last year, 147 crimes were reported to LCSO most of which were simple assault related incidents. Clark says the steady decline in crime is a direct result of a joint effort from the center and law enforcement. 

"If people are working and are able to provide for their family they are less likely to go out and get into trouble," said Clark.