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Teen shot by police officers charged

By Staff | May 24, 2016

A Cape Coral teen accused of pointing a gun at officers during a standoff has been charged.

Tre Sterling Estes-Stalnos, 15, of 1322 Nelson Road, was transported to the Lee County Juvenile Assessment Center on Monday and charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and possession of a firearm by a minor. He was taken into custody upon his release from the hospital.

Estes-Stalnos was also charged with armed burglary of a conveyance, burglary of an unoccupied structure, grand theft of a motor vehicle, criminal mischief and resisting an officer without violence.

At about 1:20 a.m. Monday, police responded to a vehicle burglary in progress at 520 N.W. Eighth Terrace.

According to reports, the victim was sleeping when his girlfriend woke him up to tell him that someone was in his truck. The victim looked outside and saw a man in the driver’s seat of his Ford F-150.

The suspect crossed the street and approached another home before heading east into a field.

Arriving officers observed a man, later identified as Estes-Stalnos, in the 500 block of Northwest Eighth Terrace. The reports state that when officers attempted to make contact with Estes-Stalnos, he ran and jumped into a canal that separates Northwest Eighth Terrace and Northwest Ninth Street.

As the teen began to swim west, he allegedly pulled out a black handgun and pointed it to his head, telling officers to stop shining flashlights on him. Estes-Stalnos swam to about the 800 block before he entered a dense bush area on the south side of the canal, where the officers could no longer see him.

For nearly three hours, SWAT and crisis negotiators tried to get him to come out of the canal.

At about 4:13 a.m., Estes-Stalnos began to move around the canal bank while still holding the gun. According to the reports, it was during this time that the teen pointed the gun at officers and was shot.

He sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment.

During an interview at the hospital, Estes-Stalnos allegedly stated that he burglarized a vehicle on Northwest Eighth Terrace. When he began to walk away, he saw a police car so he ran. He reportedly told police that he ran away because he was on probation and on curfew and he had a gun on him.

Estes-Stalnos said he jumped in the canal and later hid, the reports state. The teen stated that he got tired of hiding, so he came out and began to raise the gun, which is when he was shot by officers.

The investigation revealed that Estes-Stalnos used a stolen vehicle – a Dodge Journey – to get to neighborhood. The SUV was located near Northwest Fifth Place and Northwest Eighth Terrace.

At about 7 a.m. Friday, Cape police responded to 1119 N.W. Fourth Place to a grand theft auto. The victim stated that when she woke up for work, her Dodge Journey was missing from the driveway. Her husband’s vehicle had been left unlocked and a spare key to the SUV may have been left inside of it.

The reports indicate that police found another vehicle broken into just south of the location.

With further investigation, Cape detectives were also able to link Estes-Stalnos to a commercial burglary that occurred just hours before his standoff with police, according to the reports.

At about 12:10 a.m. Monday, officers responded to a burglar alarm at R&W Guns, at 303 N.E. Third Ave. Evidence allegedly revealed that the teen tied a rope to the stolen Dodge and pulled the rear door open to the business. Nothing was taken from inside, but about $600 in damage was done to the door.

Rope still found tied to the SUV reportedly matched the rope found at the scene of the burglary.

Estes-Stalnos nor his family could be reached for comment Tuesday on the allegations.

He has a mandatory court appearance set for June 27 for at least two of the charges.