Services set for teenage shooting victims
Services have been arranged to lay to rest two local teens who were tragically gunned down during Monday’s early morning shooting at the Club Blu in Fort Myers.
Stef’an Strawder, 18, of Lehigh Acres, and Sean Archilles, 14, of Fort Myers, were shot and killed at approximately 12:30 a.m. outside of the club, at 3580 Evans Ave., as a teen party was letting out. Police officials reported that at least 17 others – ages 12 to 27 – suffered minor to life threatening injuries.
The wake for Strawder is set for Aug. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Myers. His funeral will take place on Aug. 6 at 3 p.m. at New Life Assembly of God in Lehigh Acres.
“It is open to the public,” Pastor Bernie McGraw, with the New Life Assembly of God, said.
The viewing for Archilles will be held on Aug. 5 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary at CityGate Ministries in Fort Myers. His funeral is scheduled for Aug. 6 at 11 a.m. at the same location.
Both are open to the public.
“The public can come out and support the family,” Connie Petito, with CityGate Ministries, said.
As of Thursday, two shooting victims remained hospitalized.
“We still have two patients,” Lee Memorial Health System spokeswoman Pat Dolce said.
One was listed in critical condition and the other was listed in fair condition.
A GoFundMe account has been created for one of the remaining patients, Wadlin Dieujuste, 14. According to the website, his former teacher Francine Lutman set up the account to help his family.
“Wadlin was shot in the stomach and hand and is currently in the ICU of a local hospital,” she wrote. “I’m creating this account, with his family’s support, to help his family with his medical expenses and future medical needs.”
“They are a good family and he’s a great kid that didn’t deserve something like this to happen to him,” Lutman added.
To donate to the account, visit online at: www.gofundme.com/2gk2kqc.
In the days following the tragedy, other funds have been set up.
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation partnered with the city of Fort Myers and the United Way of Lee, Charlotte, Glades and Okeechobee Counties to open the Together Fort Myers fund to assist the victims and families. One hundred percent of the monies will be used to provide support services.
Donations can be made online at: floridacommunity.com.
Counseling services are also available by dialing 211 or 239-433-3900.
United Way 211 provides free information and referral to human/social service agencies in Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee. Clients receive information and referrals appropriate to their needs.
Another GoFundMe account has been created to help with Strawder’s funeral expenses.
“Stef’an D. Strawder was an extraordinary, robust and multifaceted young man on and off the basketball court,” the account website states. “He was admired and loved by so many.”
“He had a such a bright future ahead of him,” it continues.
To donate to the account, visit: www.gofundme.com/2gd2f78.
Authorities are asking for the public’s assistance to generate information on the shooting.
“The Fort Myers Police Department is still actively investigating all leads and tips that have been provided,” FMPD Capt. Jim Mulligan said in a prepared statement released Thursday. “We encourage anyone who has any information to contact the Fort Myers Police Department or Crime Stoppers.”
“While we have received several tips via Crime Stoppers, it is believed that there are other potential witnesses or tipsters that can provide important information to assist with this investigation,” he added.
Authorities are also asking anyone with pictures or video from inside or outside of the club to contact the police department so personnel can review the pictures or video to assist with the investigation.
“Please let investigators determine if there is any value to any picture or video,” Mulligan said.
A $1,000 cash reward is being offered for information leading to the arrests of the persons responsible in the shootings, along with an additional reward of $20,000 being offered by the FMPD and FBI.
Contact the Fort Myers Police Department at 239-321-7700. Callers may also call Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477) or text a message to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: FMPD.
Tipsters can remain anonymous.
Shortly after the shooting occurred on Monday, police detained three people for questioning in connection to the incident. All three were arrested and charged on counts unrelated to the shooting.
Derrick Leon Church, 19, of 1827 S. Meador Court, Fort Myers, was charged with assault on officer firefighter EMT and resist officer flee elude law enforcement officer with lights siren active.
Demetrius O’Neal, 19, of 2700 S.W. 27th St., Lehigh Acres, and Tajze Akiir Battle, 22, of 71 Palm Tree Lane, Fort Myers, were each charged with one count of resist officer obstruct without violence.
As of Thursday, all three had been released from the Lee County Jail on bond.
Prior court records indicate that Church received a traffic citation in July 2015 for failure to obey a traffic control device, which he pled guilty to. O’Neal was arrested and charged with loitering or prowling and resist officer without violence in October 2015, but the state declined to press charges.
Battle has two sealed juvenile court cases from 2009 and 2011, according to the records. In May 2014, he was cited for speeding, which he pled guilty to.
St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church is at 2182 Mitchell Court in Fort Myers.
For information, contact the church at 239-332-3274.
New Life Assembly of God is at 5146 Leonard Blvd. S. in Lehigh Acres.
For additional information, contact 239-369-6147.
CityGate Ministries is at 1735 Jackson St. in Fort Myers.
For information, contact 239-334-7747.