Investigators confirm former sheriff's deputy shoots, kills self

After being fired Tuesday and arrested on charges of driving under the influence Wednesday, former Collier County Sheriff’s Cpl. Craig Marshall took his own life Thursday.

Cpl. Craig Marshall

Cpl. Craig Marshall

Marshall, 34, of 560 Southwest Blvd., East Naples, was fired from the Sheriff’s Office after investigators determined he shot himself on March 6, and then falsely reported he was shot by an unknown sniper, prompting a lockdown at two nearby schools.

Deputies received a call at about 9:15 a.m. Thursday from a family member inside Marshall’s home, stating the deputy was dead.

Deputies will not release the name of the family member who found Marshall. They have not determined whether the family member was with him at the time of his death, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Stephanie Spell said.

Investigators determined the cause of Marshall’s death to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Spell said investigators have not released information about where the gunshot wound was located.

“It’s certainly sad,” Spell said. “It’s sad he chose this chain of events.”

Neighbors and Sheriff’s Office officials would not comment on Marshall’s personal life. According to police reports, Marshall was not married.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrested Marshall at 2:24 Wednesday afternoon following a collision with another vehicle. Troopers said they found Marshall laying down in the bed of his pickup truck after the crash, and he appeared to be sluggish.

Spell said Marshall was under the influence of a chemical or controlled substance at the time of his arrest.

Marshall was responsible for an agency-wide manhunt on March 6, when he radioed for help after he was shot in the shoulder at about 10 a.m. while working in plain clothes along the south side of U.S. 41 East, near St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church.

Deputies in helicopters and ATVs, along with search dogs, looked for a suspect throughout the day, but found no evidence to suggest a shooter was on the loose.

Spell said Marshall was fired Tuesday due to admissions he made regarding the suspicious shooting.

Spell said she is unsure if Sheriff’s Office officials knew Marshall was suicidal following his firing.

All inmates at the Naples Jail Center undergo an evaluation to determine whether they display suicidal tendencies, Spell said. If an inmate is determined to be a danger to himself, she said, he or she is carefully watched by deputies.

Spell said she is unsure whether Marshall was being watched, or if he was undergoing any kind of mental treatments available through the Sheriff’s Office.

Marshall’s death capped off a tumultuous month for the Sheriff’s Office. Following his arrest Wednesday, Marshall was the third deputy charged with a crime this month.

On Wednesday evening, Lt. Scott K. Anderson, 41, was arrested on charges of reckless driving and fleeing and eluding officers — his third arrest this year. Earlier this month, Anderson, who was fired from the Sheriff’s Office Thursday, was charged with three counts of withholding information from a medical practitioner, in an attempt to obtain controlled substances.

On March 14, Charles “Jay” Jonas Green, 54, was fired after being charged with 69 counts of possessing child pornography.

Officials also are investigating whether the March 8 fatal shooting of an Immokalee man, Charlie C. Torres, 34, by 27-year-old Deputy Brian Cohen, was justified. Cohen reported Torres attempted to run him down with a stolen truck, prompting the deputy to shoot at the suspect.

Spell said Sheriff Don Hunter does not view the recent events as a sign of a troubled department. She said there is no crime epidemic circulating through the department, which employs more than 1,400 people.

“Sheriff Hunter takes the public’s trust very seriously,” Spell said. “That is the foundation of this business.

“We will do whatever it takes to ensure that trust.”

Find additional coverage in Friday's edition of the Daily News.

© 2006 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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