Shooting victim was Cape High athlete, graduate
Just hours after a Fort Myers man was gunned down early Sunday, shots rang out at a house where his young niece and nephew had been taken to get them away from the original crime scene.
Alonzo Lee Stewart Jr., 24, died in the 2000 block of Braman Avenue, after getting shot multiple times, according to a Fort Myers Police Department press release. Police were called to the home at 2:35 a.m. Sunday.
According to his Facebook page, he graduated in 2005 from Cape Coral High School. Newspaper accounts show he was a linebacker for the school’s football team.
Stewart’s girlfriend, Victoria, said the shooting happened where he lived with his niece, nephew and their father. The Cape Coral Breeze is not using Victoria’s last name for her safety.
“Somebody shot up their grandma’s house this morning after he was killed,” Victoria said. That is where the children had been taken.
Fort Myers police spokeswoman Shelly Flynn confirmed someone had shot at the house, but no one was injured. The address was not immediately released.
Investigators remained tight lipped about the shootings Sunday afternoon. No one had yet been arrested in connection with the shooting, said Police Chief Doug Baker.
“He was in danger of his life,” Victoria said just hours after the killing. “Someone had broken into his house recently and he wasn’t comfortable there. He wanted to get an apartment together, but I thought it was too soon.”
She and Stewart knew each other in high school, but didn’t become a couple until about six weeks ago.
Stewart’s run-ins with the law date to at least 2004 when he was cited for driving without a license. But things would go downhill from there. He was raised by family members, because he told her, his parents died when he was young, Victoria said. It was not clear when or how his parents died.
Stewart was released from prison on Dec. 1 after serving time on drug charges after getting caught in a sting operation by Fort Myers police in 2008.
He also had violated probation on a violent 2007 home invasion robbery conviction, online records show. He and four other men were accused of breaking into a Cape Coral home, pistol-whipping and kicking the occupants, stealing a television, wallet two Playstation consoles and keys, then fleeing.
According to an Associated Press article from Jan. 1, 2005, Stewart also had witnessed a shooting where Rashard Patterson, then 15 who attended North Fort Myers High School, was gunned down. Two rival groups had squared off New Year’s Eve 2004, the day after Patterson and two Cape teen girls were jumped.
One of those involved in the New Year’s Eve fight, Clyde Lamar Robinson Jr., then 15, was convicted of manslaughter and is serving a five-year term in prison. His release date is July 2013, according to Florida Department of Corrections website.
The killings haven’t stopped.
So far this year Fort Myers police have reported 12 homicides; last year, a low year, they had seven, Flynn said. The homicide counts for Cape Coral and Lee County law enforcement agencies were not immediately available Sunday.
That is just one reason Victoria and her mother are appealing not only to police, but to the community to help stop the violence.
“He was a good person,” Victoria said through tears. “He loved kids. He had a scholarship to go play football in high school and he got involved in with the wrong kind of kids and wound up going to jail.”
“We all had mutual friends, but never dated. He went to prison for like three or four years. He’s only been out of prison like seven months. We basically just got reunited a month and half ago. He’s been so good to me and my kids. He’s been the best boyfriend ever.”
She stressed he was trying to get on his feet, but with a criminal record, he wan’t having much success in landing a job. That’s why he was living with his niece and nephew and their father, helping take care of them.
Stewart also had very few family members in the area: his sisters, Victoria said, are in jail, his son’s maternal grandparents have custody of the boy, but would’t allow Stewart to see him.
“He treated my kids like they were his kids,” Victoria said of her infant boy and toddler girl.
Victoria hopes the community can help bury Stewart.
“Please ask the public if they could help with his funeral,” she said. “Because he don’t have nobody, he has nobody.”