Suspect hospitalized after 5th SWFL officer-involved shooting
ESTERO, Fla. – A suspect was shot by deputies Wednesday near Coconut Point in the fifth officer-involved shooting this month in Southwest Florida.
Trey Steven Chenault, 26, was involved in the shooting, which happened just before 1 p.m. along Via Coconut Point behind Target and Hertz headquarters., according to U.S. Marshals.
Deputies were searching for Chenault, who was wanted for allegedly battering a law enforcement officer in a Nov. 11 incident, LCSO said.
He was living in the wooded area where he was found Wednesday, then became violent once deputies tried to issue him a search warrant, according to Lt. Jeffrey Dektas.
Chenault was shot, then hospitalized, Lt. Dektas said.
A Lee Health nursing supervisor said he is in critical condition.
No officers were injured in the shooting. The identities of the officers involved were not immediately released.
Noel Chahal, who lives near Chenault’s last known address, was shocked that she lives what her neighbor was capable of.
“That’s nuts,” Chahal said. “I’m glad he’s taken in and whatever. I have little kids on the road.”
Chenault has been arrested 13 times since 2008, according to the LCSO’s website.
Via Coconut Point was closed for several hours while deputies investigated. Lt. Dektas stressed that no shoppers were in danger and that the shooting was unrelated to the mall.
“So it has nothing to do with the mall, nothing to do with the any of the past violence we have seen in the county last weekend at the other malls. This has nothing to do with any of the malls,” he said.
It was unclear whether Chenault was armed.
This is the latest in a series of recent shootings near Southwest Florida malls. The first was on Nov. 27 at Gulf Coast Town Center in Fort Myers. Two people were injured and a third person, 28-year-old Marcus Hood, was killed. Another person, a woman, was shot the next day in the parking garage at Mercato in Naples. She was treated at a hospital and released.
But Lt. Dektas said that the incidents were not related to Wednesday’s shooting, adding that the malls are safe.
Uptick in officer-involved shootings
Wednesday’s shooting is also the most recent in a rash of officer-involved incidents in the region.
A passerby was hailed a highway hero by many after he shot and killed 53-year-old Edward Strother, an allegedly armed suspect who attacked veteran deputy, Dean Bardes. That shooting closed down an Estero exit on I-75 for nine hours on Nov. 14 while deputies investigated. The name of the shooter has not yet been released, but LCSO Sheriff Mike Scott expressed his gratitude in a pointed statement.
“I thank the hero that recognized the imminent threat, rushed to Deputy Bardes’ aid, and ultimately stopped that threat,” Scott said.
A 24-year-old man was shot by Lee County deputies on Nov. 16 when they responded to a domestic disturbance call in Pine Manor. Rones Sagesse was arrested the following day after sending authorities on an hour-long manhunt and is facing two felony charges for assault to an officer.
Sanibel saw its first officer-involved shooting on Nov. 20 when a suspect shot Officer Jarred Ciccone in a drive-by, according to the Sanibel Police Department. Jon Webster Hay, 49, of Sanibel, was arrested and is facing charges after police said he followed his initial attack by exchanging 14 rounds of gunfire with officers. Ciccone was treated then released from the hospital with an injury to his shoulder.
Five days later, an officer with the Naples Police Department shot a man at Cove Inn in Naples Bay. The man was allegedly armed, though it was unclear whether he used his weapon. Police said he was not a suspect in any crime.