Family, friends hold vigil for slain Gulf Coast High student

Funeral for Jake Couture scheduled for Jan. 5 at First Baptist Church of Naples

  • Call #1: Four minutes, seven seconds.
  • Call #2: Seven minutes, forty-two seconds.
  • Call #3: Two minutes, thirty-four seconds.
  • The Daily News has posted the 911 tapes, acquired from the Collier County Sheriffs Office, to help readers understand the series of events and confusion surrounding Friday night’s fatal shooting at a North Naples apartment complex. 17-year-old Gulf Coast High School junior Jake Couture was killed by a gunshot wound, and Michael Fleitas, 14, and Brandon Standifer, 21, were injured. Some moments of silence exist on the tapes due to sections that have been removed by the sheriff’s office. We caution listeners that some of the content is graphic, and some of the language used may be considered profane and offensive.
Video from NBC-2

One by one they spoke.

Sometimes it was just a shout of “I love you Jake” while other times it was more intimate, like the small voice from the crowd that said “being Jake’s best friend has been the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.”

They all stood out in the cold and rain Sunday night to honor Jake Couture, who died Friday following a North Naples shooting.

Couture died from injuries he received in a triple shooting at a North Naples apartment complex Friday night. The Gulf Coast High School junior was 17.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputies report that Couture, along with Michael Fleitas, 15, and Brandon Standifer, were shot following a dispute outside an apartment at 14830 Triangle Bay Drive at Brittany Bay Apartments Friday night.

Couture was taken to an area hospital, where he later died.

Fleitas was among those in attendance during Sunday night’s vigil, but when approached, a woman told a Daily News reporter to go away.

Couture’s friends rallied after hearing about his death, and began a Facebook page — R.I.P Jake Couture. Gone But Never Forgotten — over the weekend to show their support for his family.

More than 1,400 people had joined the Facebook page by Sunday night.

“He definitely had the biggest heart, if I was down he would pick me up,” said 18-year-old Shelby Redix. “To see this many people here touches me.”

About 150 people attended the candlelight vigil at Max A. Hasse Jr. Community Park in Golden Gate Estates. Couture’s parents, Craig and Jeannie Couture, as well as other family members, were there.

While Couture’s parents spoke at the event, they declined further comment afterwards.

Jeannie Couture told the crowd that her son’s death was horrible, and that she was praying for the person who killed her son.

“The fact that a person pulled out a gun and didn’t think when he killed another person ... he needs Jesus,” she said. “Join me in praying for the person who had a gun and shot him.”

Witnesses told deputies Friday there was a dispute between some of the occupants of an apartment and a person, or persons, inside of a white pickup truck when the shooting happened.

The truck fled the scene and its occupant or occupants still are being sought.

Karie Partington, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office, said deputies “don’t have enough of a description of the truck to ask the community” for information.

“This (vigil) shouldn’t be for him,” said friend Joseph Douset. “He was an all-American (guy) who was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Lori Trainer, vice president for Concord Management, Brittany Bay’s property manager, told the Daily News on Saturday that none of the people involved in Friday night’s shooting were current or former residents.

The company is working with the Sheriff’s Office, and has supplied deputies with a copy of the surveillance video so “they know who they’re looking for,” Trainer said.

The company has taken extra steps to ensure the current residents are safe, by closing the privacy gates and contracting with a security firm.

There was no new information about the case available Sunday, said Partington.

A funeral service has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church of Naples, 3000 Orange Blossom Drive. There will be a viewing from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the church, with the funeral immediately following.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A SPECIAL SECTION ABOUT THE JAKE COUTURE SHOOTING »

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911 CALLS FROM JAKE COUTURE SHOOTING

Connect with Naples reporter Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster at www.naplesnews.com/staff/jenna-buzzacco

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