NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida
ESTERO, Florida -WINK reports a suspect is dead and a deputy is in the hospital after a shooting took place on I-75 near the Corkscrew Road exit, according to Lee County deputies.
Witnesses say they saw a deputy turn his lights on and tried to make a traffic stop when that man jumped out of his car and attacked the deputy.
“The officer had his flashers going and trying to follow the guy and as soon as we got off the ramp the guy stopped, the officer stopped,” said witness Shanta Holditch. “The officer opened his door and the guy got out and ran out and grabbed the officer out of his car and started beating him profusely, throwing him to the ground and punching him in all different directions.”
Witnesses say a man in a blue shirt with his own gun got out of his vehicle and yelled for the suspect to get off the deputy. They say the man wouldn’t listen and was shot.
“I heard like three shots. He fell down on top of the police officer,” said one anonymous witness. “After a moment, the police officer rolled him back over, got on his mic, then he rolled over back on the ground besides the guy.”
It is unclear if that person was a Good Samaritan or an officer not in uniform. Others who saw the scene also recalled hearing several gunshots.
The deputy who was attacked was rushed to the hospital, but he is expected to be recover.
The sheriff was planning to hold a press conference, but about 20 minutes before it was supposed to begin, it was abruptly canceled. The office says it’s still working on notifying the suspect’s family before releasing any new information.
We’ve asked if the injured deputy was released from the hospital, but thus far, we haven’t heard back from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
More than 20 law enforcement vehicles from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Estero Fire Department, and Florida Highway Patrol, and a helicopter were all seen twice all for the situation.
The whole scene backed up traffic along the interstate for miles and closed the exit. The southbound lanes of that ramp are shut down and will continue to remain closed throughout the investigation.
Troopers advise drivers to use Three Oaks Parkway and US-41 as alternate roadways.