SWAT Sniper Takes Out Armed Robber During Bank Hostage Situation

2 mins read
Swat snipers shooting suspect in hostage situation
Photo Credit: "LAPD SWAT EXHIBITION" by MarcCooper_1950 is marked with CC0 1.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/?ref=openverse.

A SWAT sniper saved the day, when a bank heist by an armed robber escalated into a hostage situation on a Tuesday.

Negotiators were unsuccessful in peacefully resolving a crisis with an unhinged career criminal and decisive action by a SWAT sniper ultimately ended the confrontation fatally.

Hostage situation develops during armed robber’s attempt to break into bank

The incident began when authorities were alerted before noon to a robbery at Bank of America in the Bell Tower area of Fort Myers, Florida.

The situation quickly spiraled into chaos, according to Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, who described the scene during a news conference later that day.

Sterling Ramon Alavache, 36, has been identified as the individual who entered the bank armed with a knife, claiming he was in possession of a bomb, and proceeded to vault the counter.

Alavache, with a criminal record spanning various states for offenses such as drug trafficking, aggravated assault, and unlawful possession of a firearm, was no stranger to law enforcement, having previously been arrested three times in Charlotte County alone, according to WZVN-TV.

An extensive operation ensued with the collaboration of the FBI, involving the deployment of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) SWAT team, a robotic dog, electronic surveillance, and drone technology in an effort to manage the situation.

Hostage situation heats up when armed robber gets violent

Lee County deputies, as described by Sheriff Marceno, rushed inside the building as panicked patrons fled.

They worked diligently to secure the premises while initiating negotiations with Alavache, who subsequently became violent toward the hostages.

Things reached a critical juncture when Alavache was reported to have manhandled the hostages, at one point putting a knife to a woman’s throat.

Believing the hostage’s life to be in imminent danger, a SWAT team sniper acted, fatally shooting Alavache, Sheriff Marceno recounted.

The hostages and deputies were fortunate to emerge from the crisis unhurt. However, there was no confirmation from authorities as to whether Alavache actually carried an explosive device.

“It’s a sad day when innocent lives are placed in jeopardy due to the senseless acts of others,” Marceno said in a  statement.

“My family members were faced with a tough decision today to neutralize an active threat to the public, during a very volatile situation. Let this serve as a reminder of how important it is to remain vigilant.”

Following the requisite protocols, the LCSO confirmed that the sniper involved in the shooting has been temporarily placed on administrative leave.

Police take down man with two machetes before hostage situation can develop

Separately, in California, a violent grocery store encounter led to law enforcement use of lethal force after a man allegedly threatened deputies with two machetes.

The Los Angeles County sheriff’s office responded to calls from Albertsons in Lancaster, which is just North of Los Angeles, regarding a disturbance.

An Albertsons’ employee said that a man, later found to be the suspect, was seen arguing with customers.

The situation escalated when the man, who was believed to be between 35 and 40, retrieved two machetes from his backpack in the view of deputies, becoming increasingly agitated.

Man who threatened police with machetes meets his end

Despite attempts to subdue him with non-lethal means, including stun guns, deputies were forced to shoot when the suspect charged at them with the machetes in hand. He was transported to the hospital but ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

Employees and customers were shaken by the gunfire, leading them to flee through the store’s rear exit.

Both machetes were retrieved from the scene by investigators, and no additional injuries were reported, though the sheriff’s office indicated that the store was busy with shoppers at the time.

Three deputies were involved in the shooting incident, according to the sheriff’s office.

Earlier in the day, the same man had been involved in a confrontation at a nearby Chevron gas station, where he attacked a store employee resulting in a hand injury.

The injured employee was taken to the hospital with the assistance of a customer, and his injuries were confirmed to be non-life-threatening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog