Editorial: Collier County Sheriff’s Office ... agency should air video from fatal-shooting site

  • 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.

The front page of your newspaper on Monday included text and photos about friends and loved ones of Jake Couture, a 17-year-old Gulf Coast High School student shot to death Friday night at a North Naples apartment complex. His mourners and others would like to do something meaningful, like help identify the individual or persons who are responsible or at least know what happened leading up to the fatal moment.

Yet, although someone fitting that description may have been in a white pickup truck reported at the shooting scene at Brittany Bay Apartments, a security video that could bring forward tips from the public was being withheld from the public as of Monday afternoon. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office released 911 voice recordings of calls reporting the shooting but was saying the video provided by the landlord is part of an ongoing investigation and therefore private.

That is a law-enforcement agency’s prerogative. Yet look at the good results that can come from enlisting the public’s eyes and ears — and trust. Just lately, thanks to the “America’s Most Wanted” TV show, we witness the arrest in the Florida Keys of a suspect in a Thanksgiving slaying of four members of a Palm Beach County family,

That story was on Page 9A of your Monday newspaper.

We see a connection.

We believe law-enforcement agencies should exploit every opportunity to collaborate with the public rather than find reasons to withhold potentially valuable information that can solve mysteries and lead to justice.

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

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911 CALLS FROM JAKE COUTURE SHOOTING

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