Deadly Sniper Action Ends Bank Hostage Crisis in Fort Myers

 June 10, 2024

In a harrowing development, a trained sniper intervened to end a tense hostage situation in a Florida bank.

A Sheriff’s sniper in Lee County, Florida, neutralized Sterling Ramon Alavache, who escalated a bank robbery by threatening two employees with a knife and claiming to have a bomb.

According to Daily Mail, the incident unfolded in Fort Myers, where Sterling Ramon Alavache, 36, took two Bank of America employees hostage. Alavache, armed with a knife, held one of the hostages at knifepoint, intensifying the peril.

Law enforcement responded with significant force, including a SWAT team. The precise shot that ended the standoff was taken through a computer monitor.

The situation intensifies with lives on the line

The bullet, striking Alavache's forehead, was deadly and instantaneous. This critical intervention was necessary as the suspect held a knife to a hostage's throat and claimed possession of a bomb, creating an immediate lethal threat.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office, led by Sheriff Carmine Marceno, was quick to act, deploying a significant array of tactical resources. The sheriff noted the urgency of the situation, with the suspect wielding a knife and directly threatening lives.

Sheriff Carmine Marceno outlined how events escalated inside the bank:

When he presented deadly force like that, our SWAT sniper shot and killed the suspect. We were in fear for her life and her safety. Quickly we were face to face with a male suspect who was armed with a knife. He also claimed he had a bomb. He had two hostages at this point, and we tried to negotiate with him continuously. Then the man inside the bank grabbed the woman and put the knife to her throat.

Alavache’s mental health issues, including paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression, played a backdrop to his drastic actions. His life had been further complicated by personal losses and recent health diagnoses.

Community and police under stress during standoff

The ordeal caused a substantial disruption in Fort Myers, transforming the usually busy area into a scene filled with drones, police units, and a robotic dog. This illustrates law enforcement's comprehensive response to such critical incidents.

A local radio host, Charlie Lopez, expressed his shock at the scene, saying it was quite the sight, witnessing the extent of tactical equipment deployed by Lee County's law enforcement. Lopez shared on his Facebook:

You see, in the video, it almost looks like they lift up the sniper in the air. Then they have a battering ram. I've never experienced seeing all of Lee County´s arsenal. They had drones, they had cameras.

The aftermath left the Sheriff's department and the community to ponder the intense moments of decision that preserved lives at the cost of one.

The family of Sterling Ramon Alavache acknowledged his battles with mental health and substance abuse, shedding light on the human side of this tragic event through a heartfelt statement on his GoFundMe page.


This distressing episode at a Bank of America in Fort Myers, Florida, starkly highlights the intersection of public safety, mental health, and the critical responses of our first responders. A sniper's decisive action, necessitated by a high-risk escalation, likely saved lives but also triggered needed discussions on preventive measures and mental health support in our communities.

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