A man who struggled with a Lee County sheriff’s deputy following a vehicle chase Wednesday night died at the scene from gunshot wounds, authorities said.
The deputy, whom the Sheriff’s Office has not publicly identified, was taken to an area hospital but is expected to recover after being shot in the hand. As of late Thursday, the name of the man who was killed also was being withheld while deputies searched for the his biological mother to notify her of the death, agency spokesman Lt. Larry King said.
The chase began around 7:15 p.m. when the deputy attempted to stop a black Dodge Caravan near North Fort Myers for a traffic violation on Interstate 75, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The minivan refused to stop and at one point swerved at the deputy, reports said, then led him in a chase that ended when it came to a stop at the intersection of Cemetery and Stratton roads in the Buckingham community.
Two women stayed in the van and three men got out, King said.
The Caravan’s driver died at the scene shortly after getting into a fight with the deputy. King declined further comment on details of the shooting, including who fired the shots.
According to reports, a second man in the van fled and a third, Gregory Donnell Coleman, of Lehigh Acres, was arrested and accused of resisting an officer. The 24-year-old was released from jail Thursday after posting his $1,000 bond.
As of Thursday, the man who fled remained unidentified and at large. Although investigators don’t know if the man is armed, King said he does not appear to be a threat to the community and is “just wanted for questioning.”
King said he believed Wednesday’s shooting was the first time a Lee County deputy had been injured in an on-duty shooting since June of 1994, when deputy Mark Cohen was shot and wounded at a Fort Myers intersection.