FORT MYERS, Fla.- There have been 15 homicides in Fort Myers and the Police Chief says nearly all of them are somehow tied to guns or drugs. We took a look at the victims and found ten had criminal records that carry a common theme, drugs and guns.
"The trade they're in is very dangerous and it's very violent. When you look at their previous history and their previous arrests, that will tell you that our suspects are involved in other homicides," said Chief Doug Baker.
In an interview with WINK News Chief Baker connected drugs and guns directly to the city's rash of violence. So we took a look at the victims. Of the fifteen murder victims in the city, ten have criminal records. We found drug charges, illegal guns and robbery charges and the city's drug trade is what police are targeting to stop the violence.
"We're putting a tremendous amount of pressure on drug dealing, those involved in drugs," said Chief Baker.
Here's an example: Police arrested Henry Leonard Senior in a drug bust Thursday afternoon. His son is the suspect in the murder of a food delivery man last week. The elder Leonard was arrested for allegedly dealing drugs out of the same apartment from where the call to Tung Hing restaurant came the night of delivery driver Zhi Wei Huang's death.
"I have some juveniles that are just as violent and just as involved," said Chief Baker.
Four teens were arrested this week for allegedly possessing illegal guns. Police say one teen had the .45 caliber handgun strapped to his waist.
"You have individuals that are involved in the drug trade, you have individuals that are involved in robbery of the drug trade and they're retaliatory in nature," said Chief Baker.
Fort Myers Police make regular sweeps of city streets to seize illegal guns. As of May, 154 guns have been confiscated. Last year's total was 250.