Police sniper kills bank robber holding hostages

FORT MYERS, FL – A tense standoff at a local bank ended tragically on Tuesday when a law enforcement sniper shot and killed a suspected robber, who had been holding two hostages at knifepoint, according to local authorities.

The suspect, 36-year-old Sterling Ramon Alavache, was known to law enforcement, with a lengthy criminal record that spanned several states. His past offenses included drug trafficking, aggravated assault, and carrying a concealed firearm.

The incident unfolded at a Bank of America branch near Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers, shortly after 11 a.m. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno reported that deputies were called to the scene following reports of a bank robbery in progress with multiple hostages.

As law enforcement arrived and secured the bank, dozens of terrified patrons fled the scene. Inside, they encountered Alavache, armed with a knife and claiming to have a bomb. He was holding two individuals hostage, and authorities attempted to initiate negotiations.

The situation escalated when Alavache allegedly put one of the hostages in a headlock, holding a knife to her throat. “When he presented deadly force like that, our SWAT sniper shot and killed the suspect,” Marceno stated. “We were in fear for her life and her safety.”

Following the incident, both hostages were confirmed safe. The SWAT sniper involved has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting.

Reflecting on the day’s events, Sheriff Marceno expressed his gratitude that no other injuries occurred, but lamented the senseless act that put innocent lives at risk. He urged the public to remain vigilant in the face of such threats.