LCSO identifies 3 ‘persons of interest’ in Club Blu shooting

derrickchurch
Derrick Church, 19

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Three people taken into custody shortly after a shooting at Club Blu were identified by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office late Monday afternoon.

Derrick Church, 19, Demetrius O’Neal, 19, and Tajze Battle, 22, were booked into Lee County Jail on Tuesday morning. They were identified as persons of interest after authorities received a call about two suspicious vehicles around 1 a.m. near the shooting scene at 3580 Evans Avenue, the sheriff’s office said.

Demetrius O'Neal
Demetrius O’Neal, 19

The occupants of the vehicles appeared to be helping an injured person out of one of the cars near the Residence Condominiums complex.

A Fort Myers Police Department officer saw one of the cars described, a white Chevy sedan, driving out of the parking lot and attempted to pull it over, but the car fled, LCSO said.

Authorities were able to bring the pursuit to an end near Luckett Road and Ortiz Avenue, where two people attempted to run from the car.

As an LCSO deputy exited his vehicle to follow the suspects fleeing, authorities say Church, who was driving the white Chevy, accelerated towards the deputy. The deputy then fired his handgun, shooting Church in the abdomen, officials said.

Tajze Battle, 22
Tajze Battle, 22

Church was treated and released from the hospital and placed under arrest for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding. His total bond was set at $100,000.

O’Neal and Battle were later located and are facing charges for resisting without violence.

“All resources from the sheriff’s office were brought to bear, and we worked seamlessly with the police department in tracking down and apprehending responsible parties within hours of the incident,” Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott said in a statement Monday afternoon.

Battle was heavily recruited football star who played varsity cornerback for Dunbar High School from 2011 to 2013. He originally committed to University of North Carolina, but played at Alabama A&M. His bond is set at $3,500.

O’Neal’s bond amount is $5,000.

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