Police sniper kills hostage-taking bank robber at Bank of America

FORT MYERS, FL – A bank robbery escalated into a deadly hostage situation Tuesday when a law enforcement sniper fatally shot a man who had been holding two people at knifepoint in a local Bank of America branch, according to local authorities.

Sterling Ramon Alavache, 36, was no stranger to law enforcement. His criminal history spanned across multiple states, including charges of drug trafficking, aggravated assault, and illegal possession of a concealed firearm.

The event took place near Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers, shortly after 11 a.m. A call about a bank robbery with hostages in progress led Lee County Sheriff’s deputies to the scene. As they secured the bank, dozens of people made their escape.

Inside, deputies found Alavache, who was armed with a knife and claimed to possess a bomb. He had taken two people hostage, prompting authorities to attempt negotiations.

The situation took a turn for the worse when Alavache allegedly threatened one of the hostages with a knife. “Our SWAT sniper shot and killed the suspect when he presented deadly force,” Sheriff Marceno said. “We feared for her life and her safety.”

Both hostages were unharmed in the incident. The sniper involved has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Sheriff Marceno expressed his relief that no other injuries occurred, but voiced his sadness over the senseless actions that endangered innocent lives. He reminded the public to stay vigilant in the face of such threats.