FORT MYERS, Fla.- Fort Myers Police arrested two suspects on Wednesday, in connection with a shooting at 2354 Willard St. in late August, that happened after an argument over a missing cell phone.
On August 28th, FMPD were dispatched to the Willard St. address in reference to a victim who was shot in the stomach, but had been transported to Lee Memorial Hospital in a private vehicle.
The victim's girlfriend told police she was in bed at her boyfriend's residence when she heard the victim arguing with two males. Her children were also in the home, playing in one of the bedrooms.
When she asked the victim what was going on, he told her to mind her own business. Shortly after, she heard gunshots and saw the two males flee from the house. The victim was seen clutching his abdomen before making a phone call. Two individuals soon arrived and took him to the hospital.
The victim was immediately taken into surgery and was unable to give detectives a statement.
The victim's friends who had taken him to the hospital, reported that they arrived at his house for a visit and witnessed two males flee from the residence. The friends said they went inside, realized the victim had been shot and transported him for treatment.
Crime scene technicians removed an electronic scale, white pills and shell casings from the house.
The victim's mother told police her son had identified one of the suspects, just after surgery.
The following day, the victim told police the argument was over a missing cell phone.
The suspects, 21-year-old Gregory Rawls and 20-year-old Demetri Bethea, were identified by their fingerprints. Rawls and Bethea also matched the descriptions given to police by the witnesses and were identified in a photo lineup.
Rawls, a twice convicted felon, was also the victim of an earlier shooting on August 20th.
The victim said that Rawls began arguing with him in his front yard, accusing him of stealing his cell phone. When the victim denied this, Rawls allegedly pulled out a gun and forced him into the house. Once inside, Rawls began ransacking the victim's home. The victim hit Rawls and a fight ensued. That's when, the victim said, Rawls pulled out a gun and shot him.
On Wednesday, Rawls and Bethea were charged with aggravated battery and home invasion robbery. Rawls was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.