ZombiCon event security in question, shooting victim hires attorney
FORT MYERS, Fla.- One of the ZombiCon shooting victims has hired a lawyer to look into the event’s security as Fort Myers police continue to search for the person responsible for opening fire into a crowd of 20,000 people.
An arrest still has not been made in the shooting in downtown Fort Myers that killed one and injured five others but police say they continue to sort through tips.
“I’m confident it’s going to have a good conclusion, we’re going to get to the bottom of it and find out who did it,” said Fort Myers Police Chief Dennis Eads. “The local FBI office has offered support and we’re absolutely going to accept it.”
Southwest Florida Security, the security firm hired to work ZombiCon, admits it wanted to have more guards on duty Saturday night, but they were not available. Owner Jesse Morgan says they had 48 unarmed guards downtown.
In previous years, a firm had at least 60 guards attending ZombiCon, some armed. This year, the Southwest Florida Security guards were deployed to the perimeter of downtown where they were supposed to control the flow of people but that proved futile, as people trampled snow fences to move to the center.
Morgan says an open event with 20,000 people is a recipe for problems. He suggests a closed venue would work better, where metal detectors could be installed to find weapons.
“I would like to see something like that, a more closed event where we stop backpacks from coming in, we stop weapons from coming in,” said Morgan.
The family of 20-year-old Kyle Roberts, one of the shooting victims, says they have now hired attorney Scot Goldberg to look into ZombiCon organizers.
“What we are going to look at, is that the event and the organizers did everything they can, and did everything they could do, to offer a safe environment for all of the people downtown,” said Goldberg.
The Florida Gulf Coast University student went through surgery Wednesday to remove a bullet from his hand. Fort Myers police will use the bullet as evidence.
Isaiah Knight, 18, is also recovering following the shooting.
“I got hit right here in the leg, came out the other side and I still have a little bullet fragment inside me, and I got grazed by another bullet,” said Knight.
Knight describes the chaos as shots rang out at the event.
“All we heard was three gunshots. I heard the first one, thought it was fireworks, firecrackers,” said Knight. “Immediately the second one hit and I knew, I knew I got hit.”
“I couldn’t stop crying. I was in shock seeing the blood run down his leg,” said Hannah Wheeler, Knight’s friend.
“I went about two blocks before I found a cop,” said Knight. “I just laid down on the floor until he called to the ambulance to come get me.”
“I was close enough to see the flash of the gun, but I didn’t see the guy’s face or anything,” added Wheeler.
Police say after the shooting, the suspect ran west toward the Federal Courthouse. He’s described as either white or possibly Hispanic male in his late teens or early 20s. The suspect was wearing a black t-shirt and a black and red baseball cap. He was carrying a semi-automatic handgun.
Anonymous tips can be provided by calling Crime Stoppers 24 hours a day at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477), or by uploading video or information to the tips page on the Crime Stoppers website, www.swflcrimestoppers.org.
Tips can also be emailed to Fort Myers Police Detective Sergeant Brian O’Reilly at [email protected]