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Florida Police Report: Sniper Shoots Suspected Bank Robber Holding Knife to Hostage's Throat

An attempted bank robbery at the Bank of America near the Bell Tower Shops in Lee County took a deadly turn. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as 36-year-old Sterling Ramon Alavache.

Lee County Sheriff Marceno disclosed in a press conference that a SWAT sniper intervened when the suspect held two hostages at knifepoint. Despite continuous negotiation attempts, the situation escalated when the suspect physically threatened one of the hostages, prompting the sniper's action.

The sheriff described how deputies swiftly secured the area and initiated negotiations as the suspect entered the bank, making a bomb threat and endangering the hostages. The SWAT team responded decisively when the suspect posed an imminent threat to the hostages' lives.

Following protocol, the SWAT sniper is currently on administrative leave while investigations proceed.

Witnesses recounted the tense scene inside the bank. Marsha Brown recalled the suspect's bomb threat, which prompted her and others to flee. Jonathan Spellman described glimpses of negotiation between the police and the suspect before retreating to safety. Brett Sands witnessed the suspect taking a teller hostage with a box cutter or knife before law enforcement intervened.

By 1 p.m., the FBI confirmed the resolution of the situation, but as of 5 p.m., the LCSO Command Center and Hazardous Device Unit remain on-site, continuing their investigation.

Our own Charlie Lopez (DJ Cease) was located in the Dave & Buster’s parking lot as today’s events unfolded; catching every aspect on Facebook Live. We will keep you updated as more information is made available about today’s events.

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