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Published On: Wed, Jul 27th, 2016

Fort Myers Club Blu shooters identified as Derrick Church, Demetrius O’Neal, and Tajze Battle

The Three people taken into custody the mass shooting at a Florida nightclub were identified by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office as Derrick Church, Demetrius O’Neal, and Tajze Battle.

While the three men were arrested quickly after the Club Blu shooting, their names were not immediately released.

A Fort Myers Police Department officer saw one of the cars, described as a white Chevrolet sedan, driving out of the parking lot and attempted to pull it over, but the car fled, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.

As the pursuit ended soon after, two suspects fled the vehicle, which authorities say then accelerated toward a deputy. The deputy fired his handgun, shooting Church in the abdomen, officials said. He was treated and released from the hospital and placed under arrest for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding. His bond was set at $100,000.

O’Neal and Battle were later located and are facing charges for resisting without violence. Battle’s bond was set at $3,500 and O’Neal’s at $5,000.

Church, 19,  O’Neal, 19, and Battle, 22, were all booked into Lee County Jail on Tuesday morning. They were identified as persons of interest linked to the shooting that left two dead and 17 wounded.

 

Tazje Battle (left), Derrick Church (center) and Demetrius O'Neal

Tazje Battle (left), Derrick Church (center) and Demetrius O’Neal

None of the persons of interest have been charged in connection with the shooting.

“I am thankful that our brave law-enforcement officers escaped injury, and I am very happy to say that our community is a safer place today with these three bad guys in jail,” Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott said in a statement.

The two killed at Club Blu were Sean Archilles, 14, and Stef’An Strawder, 18. 17 people ranging in age from 12 to 27 were wounded during a swimsuit-themed party for teens that was underway at the club during the shooting.

The city of Fort Myers has opened a fund to assist the families affected by the shooting.

In a statement , the city announced a partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the United Way of Lee, Charlotte, Glades and Okeechobee Counties to open the TOGETHER Fort Myers fund.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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