Watch Fla. SWAT Sniper Shoot Through Monitor to Stop Hostage-Taker

June 10, 2024
Security camera footage shows a sniper with the Lee County Sheriff's Office SWAT unit making a critical shot to fatally shoot a man with two hostages at a Fort Myers bank.

Security camera video footage captured a Florida sheriff's office SWAT unit sniper take down a man who was holding a woman hostage by knifepoint in a bank earlier this year.

The incident happened Feb. 6 when Sterling Alavache, 36, walked into a Bank of America location in Fort Myers and claimed to have a bomb, WBBH-TV reports. Alavache jumped over a counter and took two people hostage.

As a standoff ensued with Lee County sheriff's deputies, Alavache grabbed one of the hostages and held a knife to her throat. That's when a SWAT unit got into position outside the bank's doors and prepared to end the situation.

A sniper with the team took careful aim at Alavance from the lobby and fired a shot. The bullet went through a computer monitor and fatally struck Alavance, who was positioned between the two hostages.

“We train for the worst-case scenario. We train for hostage negotiations and what the means going from worst-case to best scenario,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said at the time, according to WPEC-TV. “This is a very unfortunate incident; but I will tell you, the two hostages being safe was our top priority.”

In the video, Lt. Todd Olmer explained that a .308-caliber bullet was specifically chose because of "its known ballistic reliability traveling through intermediate barriers."

“Due to the suspect’s limited exposure, the sniper took a planned and deliberate shot through a computer monitor, striking the suspect in the center of the forehead, killing him instantly,” he said.

“Firing through barriers is a trained and routinely practiced skill by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office special operations unit snipers,” Olmer added.

About the Author

Joe Vince

Joining Endeavor Business Media in 2018, Joe has worked on the company's city services publications. He began working at as the assistant editor. Before starting at Endeavor, Joe had worked for a variety of print and online news outlets, including the Indianapolis Star, the South Bend Tribune, Reddit and

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