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Neighborhood businesses worried about safety after downtown Fort Myers shooting

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Business owners are questioning their personal safety on Monday after a shooting occurred in downtown Fort Myers early Sunday morning.

On Monday, Fort Myers Police said one person was taken to hospital following the shooting at a parking lot on Second Street.

The early morning shooting occurred across from Fort Myers City Hall, where city council members were discussing crime prevention at the city council on Monday night.

On Monday, we asked the Fort Myers Police Department to speak to us about the shooting, sparking a conversation about public safety from people who work here.

Marika Weiss, who owns Peter’s Ice Cream & Coffee Shop on Hendry Street, sits across the parking lot where investigators said the shooting took place around 1:55 am on Sunday.

“We heard it from people in the morning. They walked around here and told us,” Weiss said.

It’s a message of concern, she said, that she often hears when people walk past ice cream and coffee stands on Sunday mornings.

“It’s a beautiful area we love being here, but it’s a little worrying,” Weiss said.

On Monday, others, like Karen Bevel, who works downtown, told us the opposite.

“I feel safe here. I see police patrolling all the time,” says Bevelle.

To understand why the police think they have enough resources, we asked the Fort Myers Police Department to help us understand the context.

Filming locations also run along Main Street, and six months ago another filming began exploring outside the Celsius nightclub.

In a statement, spokeswoman Christine Capuzzi said:

The Fort Myers Police Department is committed to keeping the downtown corridors safe and fun, along with the rest of the city. Every weekend, more and more police officers are assigned to the downtown area. Unfortunately, not all incidents can be stopped. As we confirmed, officers were on scene at the time and provided medical assistance within seconds.

It takes all of us to keep our city safe and our communities contained. We always encourage our community members to See Something Say Something.

We encourage all legally authorized people to carry firearms to do so in a responsible manner, but unfortunately this is not always the case, leading to senseless gun violence incidents.

Kristin Capuzzi, Fort Myers Police Department

On Monday, Capuzzi did not respond to our questions about whether police were considering additional safety measures.

“I know things happen. Unfortunately people lose their temper. It doesn’t matter where you are,” Bevelle said.

Some are feeling safe, but she says that when we return to Weiss’ stores, our opening hours may change.

“We decided to stay open until 10pm at night, but now we may be thinking of closing at 9,” Weiss said.

On Monday, Weiss said the issue of closing time is still on her mind.

“People change at that hour. You can feel it between eight and nine.

Capuzzi said the area around the Second Street parking lot and Main Street is a focus area for officers, saying the problem won’t repeat itself like it does in other parts of the city.

This is an ongoing investigation and we will update with the latest information.