Cape shootings: DCF called to home last year
The Florida Department of Children and Families opened an investigation into the gunman and his family months before the tragic events that unfolded on Sunday and left two dead, plus the shooter.
Natalie Harrell, SunCoast Region communications director for DCF, confirmed on Thursday that the agency had prior contact with Christopher Michael Moran, 31, of 901 S.E. Eighth Terrace, Apt. 6.
“We have had prior involvement with the family,” she said. “We have had one prior child protection investigation in 2015.”
“The findings and open/closure date, however, cannot be disclosed for any reason,” Harrell added.
According to officials, child protection investigations, including allegations, details and reports, are confidential by law and cannot be disclosed, unless the child dies as a result of abuse or neglect.
At 5:44 p.m. Sunday, Cape Coral police responded to a shooting in the 2600 block of Skyline Boulevard. Officers arrived on scene to find that Moran had fatally shot a motorcyclist, Jeremy C. Taylor, 54, of the Cape. According to the police report, Moran used a shotgun for the weapon.
At 6:28 p.m., police responded to another shooting at the Circle K, at 1603 W. Cape Coral Parkway. Arriving officers discovered that Moran had fatally shot a second person, Sean Strickland, 26, also of the Cape. Strickland was an employee of the store and a shotgun was used, according to the reports.
Store patron Richard Huwiler, 61, of the Cape, sustained non-life threatening gunshot wounds.
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.
There were two passengers in the car with Moran. Maria Abigail Rodriguez, 32, and Christopher Moran Jr., 14 months old, both also of 901 S.E. Eighth Terrace, Apt. 6, each sustained injuries.
Officials reported that they were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
As of Thursday, neither Rodriguez nor Christopher were listed in the patient directory for Lee Memorial Health System, according to spokeswoman Pat Dolce. Their conditions are unknown.
DCF, however, reported earlier this week that the child is in its custody.
“In regards to the Cape Coral shootings, we have opened a child protection investigation,” Harrell said.
She added that any information on Christopher’s condition or status and whether he has been released from the hospital cannot be released by the department due to both HIPPA law and Florida Statutes.
“We evaluate each case individually and provide as much information as the law allows,” Harrell said.
Moran and his family’s encounter with DCF last year was reportedly because of a relative.
On Nov. 24, Moran filed a petition against his mother, Mary Margaret Medoff, for an injunction for protection against domestic violence. In the court document, he wrote tension had been building within the family for months, leading Moran and Rodriguez to kick Medoff out of their home on Nov. 16.
Moran wrote that Medoff “threatened to kill Maria and Christopher.” Medoff also reportedly said she would break in the backdoor and come into their home while they were asleep and kill all of them.
According to the document, Medoff called two days later and demanded that they pay her $500 or she would file a bogus DCF claim. DCF showed up at their door on Nov. 23; Moran filed the next day.
Court documents indicate that Rodriguez also filed a domestic violence injunction against Medoff on Nov. 24. The specifics and details of the petition are identical to what Moran wrote in his petition.
Before the couple filed the petitions, Moran filed a report with the Cape police on Nov. 21. He stated that his mother had stolen prescription medication – 30 clonazepam – from his wife, Rodriguez.
This, however, was not the first documented domestic problems for the family.
In May 2008, Medoff filed a domestic violence injunction against her then-husband, Stanton Drew Medoff. The specifics of the allegations were not publicly available as of press time Thursday.
Four days later, Stanton Medoff filed a domestic violence injunction against Moran, his stepson. According to the petition, Moran came into his place of employment and threatened Stanton Medoff to “get out or I’ll kill you – you S.O.B.” Moran was accompanied by his mother at the time.
“They both were highly agitated and under the influence,” he wrote.
Stanton Medoff reported that the following day, Moran violently smashed into the rear of his van, causing neck and back injuries to him. Moran also attempted to smash his window with a bat.
He also noted in the petition that he believed Moran accompanied Medoff to his residence in Fort Myers and ransacked the home, stealing jewelry, clothing, cash and more and causing damage.
According to the petition, Moran had never been the subject of a Baker Act proceeding, but he was supposed to be taking medication for mental health problems, which Moran was currently taking.
Neither Stanton Medoff, nor Medoff, could be reached for comment on Thursday.
Two years ago, Moran had a run-in with law enforcement.
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.