Sanibel officer shot, officials clear scene
SANIBEL, Fla. — Officers have cleared multiple crime scenes across the island after a Sanibel police officer was shot in his shoulder during a traffic stop at about 8 p.m. Sunday.
This is the fourth attack on a Southwest Florida police officer within the last two weeks.
The officer, Jarred Ciccone, was treated and released from Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, sources said.
The suspect drove by and opened fire while the officer was working a traffic stop involving another driver near 2300 Periwinkle Way, said retired Sanibel police chief Bill Tomlinson, who worked the scene. The officer was in his vehicle when he was shot, according to Tomlinson.
“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.”
The incident is the first officer-involved shooting ever on Sanibel, Tomlinson said. It was similar to an attack earlier Sunday on an officer in San Antonio, Texas.
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 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.
Police directed residents of The Dunes to lock their doors and stay away from their windows.
Sanibel police and Lee County Sheriff’s deputies combed through the suspect’s home after taking him into custody.
The Sanibel Causeway was closed in both directions at about 8:30 p.m. It reopened roughly an hour later. The front entrance of the Dunes is no longer blocked off.
A SWAT team was called to the area, but then cleared once the suspect was taken into custody. The suspect’s name was not immediately available.
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, [a] 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.”
Hear more from Vaughn:
At least 20 police cars were present near The Dunes at about 9 p.m. as police searched the area on foot, by car and by air.
The incident shook many in the area, including Steven Chance, a resident of The Dunes who was returning from work as the scene unfolded. Police weren’t letting anyone into the neighborhood.
“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 was fearing for his safety and I still don’t know how he is.”
A video shows police near Bailey Road and Periwinkle Way:
Two more videos show a heavy police presence near Periwinkle Way and Bailey Road:
It’s the latest in a 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 traffic stop. A man who fought with a deputy on Interstate 75 Exit 123 was shot by a passerby on Nov. 14. And a man exchanged fire with deputies Nov. 16 in the Pine Manor neighborhood just south of Fort Myers.