CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Cape Coral Police Officers responded to a report of a disturbance at 422 Coral Drive on Wednesday at approximately 10:36 a.m. Chad Struble called 911 and advised that he and his girlfriend, Kristel Soini, had been threatened with a handgun by Soini’s brother, Michael Schenker.
Struble told the dispatcher that Schenker was armed with a handgun and that he and his girlfriend Soini had retreated to a bathroom inside of the home. Struble and Soini exited the residence through a door leading from the bathroom and met the initial responding police officers.
Soini told officers that her mother, Dorothy Schenker, was still inside of the home along with Michael Schenker. Dorothy was safely evacuated from the home and met with officers as well.
Soini, Struble and Dorothy Schenker told police that Michael Schenker was inside of the home and he was armed with a handgun. Soini and Struble provided statements to police that they were threatened by Michael and that he was barricaded inside. With the information that the victims provided to officers, the scene had to be treated as a barricaded gunman. With that, the safety of the neighborhood became paramount. The SWAT Team was summoned complete with negotiators to talk Schenker out of the home.
As Soini, Struble and Dorothy Schenker were debriefed further, it was learned that enough time had elapsed between the victim’s exit and the arrival of police that Schenker could have left the residence.
Michael Schenker told police negotiators that he fled the home prior to officers arriving at the residence and he was not in the area when they got there. As is standard, the perimeter was maintained and efforts to talk with Schenker via telephone continued. Even though it was becoming apparent that Schenker indeed fled the home prior to police arrival, it needed to be confirmed.
During ongoing phone conversations with Schenker, he was unclear as to his whereabouts and the possibility existed that he may have been inside of the residence. Another curveball that police had to contend with was that Dorothy Schenker told officers that her son Michael has a propensity for hiding inside of the home’s attic to avoid authorities.
Schenker’s phone died and contact was lost. To ensure that Schenker had not harmed himself while inside of the residence, the SWAT Team entered the home to confirm whether or not he was inside. The home was searched and it was now confirmed that Michael Schenker was not in the home.
Probable Cause existed for the arrest of Michael Schenker on charges of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm for threatening his sister Kristel Soini and her boyfriend Chad Struble.
Cape Coral Police Street Crimes Unit began their hunt for Schenker. The canvassed the neighborhood and contacted residents and asked for their assistance in locating Schenker. In true community partnership, at about 8:20pm, CCPD received information from a neighboring residence that it appeared as though a TV was on in a bedroom at 422 Coral Drive. CCPD officers arrived and made entry into the house via an open rear sliding glass door. Michael Schenker was located in Kristel's bedroom watching television. He was taken into custody without incident. Michael Schenker spontaneously told officers that his intention initially this morning was to commit 'suicide by cop'. He planned to fire at the cops to have them return fire and kill him.
“This is the very reason that we follow protocol in potential barricaded gunman situations. Mr. Schenker had very bad intentions yesterday morning. One of the main reasons that tragedy was avoided yesterday was the fact that the Cape Coral Police Department adheres to sound tactical standards. This has never been more vital as 5 Florida Police Officers have been killed by gun violence this year…and it’s only March” said Lieutenant Tony Sizemore.
Sizemore further stated “We are grateful for the partnership we have with our citizens. This partnership took a dangerous man off of the streets of Cape Coral.”