In the latest string of incidents involving Southwest Florida law enforcement, a driver is accused of fighting with a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy after a Nov. 8, 2016 traffic stop. A man who fought with a deputy on Interstate 75 Exit 123 was shot by a passerby on Nov. 14, 2016. As well as man exchanging fire with deputies Nov. 16, 2016 in the Pine Manor neighborhood just south of Fort Myers.
On Sunday Nov. 20, 2016 at approximately 8 p.m. officer Jarred Ciccone was shot in his shoulder during a traffic stop. This is the fourth attack on a Southwest Florida police officer within the last two weeks.
Retired Sanibel police chief Bill Tomlinson, who worked the scene stated, “The suspect drove by and opened fire while the officer was working a traffic stop involving another driver near 2300 Periwinkle Way. The officer was in his vehicle when he was shot,” according to Tomlinson.
A SWAT team was called to the area, but then cleared once the suspect was taken into custody. The Sanibel suspect drove into The Dunes neighborhood, and exchanged gunfire with Sanibel and Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies. After, he then went to his home barricaded himself until he was surrendered. The suspect was shot and taken into custody along the 1400 block of Sand Castle Road, according to police, who issued an all-clear for the neighborhood shortly before 10 p.m.
Jarred Ciccone, was treated and released from Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, sources said.
“What we do know is that he definitely suffered a wound, definitely something to be very concerned about,” Tomlinson said. “We at the Sanibel Police Department are very concerned for him and his family, and we hope that he’ll be fine.”
Tomlinson added, “This incident is the first officer-involved shooting ever on Sanibel,
. It was similar to an attack earlier Sunday on an officer in San Antonio, Texas”
Sanibel resident Jeanne Vaughn said she heard six rapid-fire gunshots. Another resident said she heard sirens starting around 8:20, along with several gunshots and a helicopter.
“I heard a police siren and then, minute later I heard a bunch of shots. Bang, bang, you know, bang, bang, bang,” said Vaughn, who lives near the causeway. “And then I heard more police sirens and I see police coming up and down the streets.
Steven Chance, a resident of The Dunes .......“It’s unprecedented because I’ve lived on this island my whole life and I’ve never seen this many police in one spot,” Chance said. “It’s a little scary it was in my neighborhood. My dad is home. He’s elderly. I feared for his safety and I still don’t know how he is.”
Ed. Note: Let us be thankful that we have some of the finest police and sherriff departments that keep us safe, are they all perfect, probably not, but the violence against them will only make them more cautious and anxious as they approach potentially dangerous situations.
This holiday season, lets all remember our fallen officers and their families who now have to move forward without them.