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A community mourns: Vigil held as shooting probe continues

By Staff | Jun 8, 2016

About 50 people turned out for a vigil on Tuesday for the victims of the recent shooting spree.

Hosted by the Cape Coral Residents Group, a community-based group on the social networking site Facebook, the event was held at 7 p.m. at Four Freedoms Park. Group member Melissa Saunders Boye explained that she spearheaded the ceremony to help start the healing process after Sunday’s tragedy.

“Watching it unfold on social media was heartbreaking,” the 29-year Cape resident said.

“It hit home – this is home,” she added. “I felt helpless.”

Among those gathered were a small group that knew at least one of the victims, while the majority of those in attendance simply wanted to show support for their community and the victims’ families.

Rick Fuerneisen, of the Cape, came with his granddaughter, Caitlin Nord, 16.

“One of the reasons we came out was a biker was involved,” he said. “A biker got killed.”

Fuerneisen, one of a handful who were wearing motorcycle club jackets, explained that bikers are brothers regardless of what organization they belong to. He said they look out for one another.

“I’m here to pay my respects,” he said.

A 13-year resident, Fuerneisen expressed concern over the state of the city.

“It’s getting worse and worse every year that goes by,” he said.

Cape resident Madylin Flores called showing up for the event “the right thing to do.”

“I love my community and to hear something like this tragedy happen – you don’t expect anything like that to happen here,” she said.

The brief ceremony ended with a balloon release from the group that knew at least one victim.

They declined to talk about the shootings and the victim, only calling him “a friend.”

At 5:44 p.m. Sunday, the Cape police responded to a shooting in the 2600 block of Skyline Boulevard. Arriving officers discovered that a motorcyclist sustained a fatal gunshot wound, officials reported.

Christopher Michael Moran, 31, of 901 S.E. Eighth Terrace, Apt. 6, was the shooter.

According to a report, a shotgun was used as the weapon.

As of Tuesday, police had not yet released the identity of the motorcyclist.

At 6:28 p.m. Sunday, police responded to a second shooting at the Circle K, at 1603 W. Cape Coral Parkway. When officers arrived, they discovered one person in the store had sustained a fatal gunshot wound and a second person had sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound, officials reported.

A report indicates that the fatality at the Circle K was a 26-year-old.

As of Tuesday, police had not identified either victim in the second shooting.

A shotgun was again listed as the weapon used.

Four minutes after the second shooting, police located Moran at the intersection of Skyline and Cape Coral Parkway. Officers stopped the vehicle in the 5100 block of Skyline, according to officials.

“The suspect was still armed and violently resisting officers as multiple officer engaged him,” Sgt. Dana Coston, spokesman for the Cape Coral Police Department, said via a prepared statement.

Moran was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kelly Abatisti, who lives in the 5000 block of Skyline, was headed home after running an errand when she saw Moran’s car headed toward her. There were police everywhere, then she heard the gunshots.

“There were so many you can’t even count them,” she said.

“The car did a 360 and it was all over,” Abatisti added.

She tried to get a little closer to the scene out of curiosity, with no luck.

“I was glad it was over and no one else got hurt,” Abatisti said.

She voiced concerned over how long it took police to bring Moran to a stop.

“This world is getting crazier by the day,” Abatisti said.

Officials reported that there were two passengers in the car with Moran.

Both sustained injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment.

As of Tuesday, police had not identified the passengers and their conditions were unknown.

According to court records, Moran was arrested and charged with DUI with property damage in January 2014. He was found guilty the next month and sentenced to nine months of probation. The only other public records on Moran within Lee County are for traffic citations in 2007 and 2010.