NAPLES — A 23-year-old has been arrested in the triple shooting that killed a Gulf Coast High School student on New Year’s Day.
Hours after family and friends attended Jake Couture’s funeral, Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk announced that James Matthew Menard had been charged with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-degree murder.
Menard, of 1271 8th St. N.E., Golden Gate Estates, was booked into the Collier County Jail at 11:00 p.m., Rambosk said.
Rambosk said authorities learned a robbery, which may have involved the three victims, occurred earlier on the night of the shooting.
The robbery may have led three juveniles and an adult to the apartment where the shooting occurred, Rambosk said.
“We believe some of them may know one another,” Rambosk said of the two groups. “Some may have gone to the same high school.”
Rambosk could not confirm if Couture, 17, was somehow involved in the robbery of if he was an innocent bystander.
Couture’s sister, Dana Couture-Woodall, said it was a relief to hear about the arrest.
“It’s been a burden for us, thinking they’re still out there when they killed our brother and son,” she said. “We’re not hanging onto anger, bitterness or unforgiveness, but it still hurts.”
Couture, a junior at Gulf Coast High, died as a result of the shooting. Brandon Standifer, 21, and Michael Fleitas, 15, survived the shooting.
The incident, which occurred Friday around 9:30 p.m., started after the three victims got into an argument with the suspects outside a Brittany Bay apartment in North Naples, according to Collier County Sheriff’s Office incident reports.
A witness, whose name was not released, was already inside the apartment and was refusing to open the door for the suspects. When Standifer told the men that they needed to get away from the door, a shouting match ensued, reports said.
During the argument, reports say Standifer pushed one of the men and the man then reached into his waist band, pulled out a gun and started shooting. Five spent casings were found at the scene.
Witnesses told deputies the suspects left in a white pickup truck, with gold trim and tinted windows.
Rambosk said interviews with the three juveniles who went to the apartment with Menard are ongoing, as are the investigations into both incidents.
Two search warrants are being served, Rambosk said. He said one is being conducted on a white pickup truck and another on Menard’s last known address, which was not released.
Six friends of Couture’s came to the press conference after hearing about it on the local news.
“Thank God,” said Sean Springs, a best friend of Couture. “I’m really excited. I wasn’t expecting it so soon.”
JAKE COUTURE SHOOTING
- Teens, 2 from Palmetto Ridge High, questioned in Jake Couture slaying; named suspected shooter
- $3M bond set for Jake Couture's accused killer James Matthew Menard
- James Matthew Menard arrested in triple shooting, Jake Couture slaying
- VIDEO: Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk announces an arrest in the New Years Day triple shooting that led to the death of Jake Couture.
- 23-year-old charged in triple shooting, Jake Couture slaying
- 1,400 attend funeral for Gulf Coast High’s Jake Couture
- 911 calls from Jake Couture shooting reveal chaos at scene
- Gulf Coast High deals with shock of shooting death of student; Jake Couture funeral tonight
- Gulf Coast High provides counselors to those mourning fellow student’s death
- Editorial: Collier County Sheriff’s Office ... agency should air video from fatal-shooting site
- 3 suspects sought in slaying of Gulf Coast High student; Report says 1 shooter, 5 shots
- Family, friends hold vigil for slain Gulf Coast High student
- Teen, 'friends with everyone,' shot, killed at North Naples apartments; 2 others injured
- 1 killed, 2 injured after shooting at North Naples apartment complex
- Press Conference: Arrest made in Jake Couture slaying
- Photo Gallery: January 5, 2010 - Jake Couture Service
- Photo Gallery: January 3, 2010 - Vigil for Jake Couture
- Facebook.com Gallery posted by family and friends of Jake Couture
- Ongoing photo gallery with photos of Jake Couture posted on Facebook.com by friends and family members
- NBC 2: Bond for teen's accused murderer set at $3M
- NDN VIDEO: Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk announces an arrest in the New Years Day triple shooting that led to the death of Jake Couture.
- NBC 2: Sheriff's office: Arrest made in teen's murder
- NBC 2: Funeral held for murdered teen
- NBC 2: One dead, two injured in North Naples apartment shooting
- NBC 2: Collier teen killed in apartment shooting remembered
- NBC 2: 9-1-1 tapes released after fatal shooting
- Read the obituary for Jake Couture and sign the online guest book
- Read the Collier County Sheriff's Office report on the Jake Couture incident (.PDF file)
- Facebook Page: R.I.P Jake Couture. Gone But Never Forgotten
- Initial Collier County Sheriff's Office media release on the incident
- Collier Sheriff's Office Blog: Arrest Made In Triple Shooting
- Download and listen to 911 calls from scene of the Jake Couture shooting. Call #1: Four minutes, seven seconds. (.mp3 file)
- Download and listen to 911 calls from scene of the Jake Couture shooting. Call #2: Seven minutes, forty-two seconds. (.mp3 file)
- Download and listen to 911 calls from scene of the Jake Couture shooting. Call #3: Two minutes, thirty-four seconds. (.mp3 file)
- 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.