Robber holds victims hostage at Bank of America

FORT MYERS, FL – A male suspect identified as Sterling Ramon Alavache, 36, was fatally shot by a law enforcement sniper during an intense standoff inside a Florida bank on Tuesday, according to authorities. The suspect was holding two people hostage at knife-point.

The incident occurred at a Bank of America branch near Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers following a distress call about a bank robbery in progress involving multiple hostages. In tandem with FBI personnel, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrived swiftly on the scene around 11 a.m. to deal with the ongoing crisis.

As law enforcement secured the bank’s interior, a multitude of people took the opportunity to escape the dangerous situation, reported Sheriff Carmine Marceno. The officers were soon confronted by Alavache, armed with a knife and claiming to have a bomb.

Despite attempts to negotiate with the suspect, who maintained control over two hostages, the standoff took a lethal turn when Alavache menaced one hostage with a knife while asserting physical control over her, placing her life in imminent threat.

Reacting to this provocation of deadly force, a SWAT sniper shot and killed Alavache, citing the intense threat to the hostage’s life and personal safety. The remaining hostages were declared safe following the conclusion of the standoff. Assignment of administrative leave is scheduled for the SWAT sniper as a standard procedural step during the investigation into the shooting.

Reflecting on the tragic incident, Sheriff Marceno posted a statement on social media saying, “It’s a sad day when innocent lives are placed in jeopardy due to the senseless acts of others.” Stressing the importance of vigilance, he expressed gratitude over the fact that none of the victims or his team were harmed during the ordeal.