Editorials are supposed to offer answers.
This one has none.
Despite security - including armed security - a teen party at a club in Fort Myers turned deadly early Monday morning. For reasons yet to be determined, a gunman, or gunmen, sprayed the crowd of exiting party goers and individuals picking them up in the parking lot.
Two teens were killed.
Sean Archilles was 14. He was going into the eighth grade. Stef'an Strawder was 18. He would have been a senior at Lehigh Senior High School, where he was a star basketball player.
At least 17 more, ranging in age from 12 to 27, were injured, two critically.
It's the stuff of every parents' nightmares.
For make no mistake, "across the bridge" or not, these youths are our youths, the athletes and fellow students Lehigh Acres kids meet on the court and at other multi-school or youth-related functions across Lee County.
Now here is where editorials typically hypothesize.
But taking a swing at any societal softballs seems too easy and just plain wrong with two funerals still pending, one youth still fighting for his life, and another still hospitalized.
So let us, instead, mourn the dead, pray for the recovery of those who were hurt, and grieve with those whose lives have been forever altered by this horrific act of violence.
There are two ways we, as a community, can assist the victims and their families.
One, we can donate money to help with funeral expenses, medical bills and other costs.
Two, anyone who has any information on the events leading up to the shooting or the shooting itself can assist the investigation by calling the Fort Myers Police Department or a tip line.
For those who would like to help financially, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation has partnered with the City of Fort Myers and United Way to open the TOGETHER Fort Myers fund "to assist the victims, families and those affected by the tragedy."
All money raised will be used to provide support services, officials said.
Donations to the TOGETHER Fort Myers fund may be made at: www.Floridacommunity.com.
Those who might have information can contact the Fort Myers Police Department at 239-321-7700 or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers. The number is 800-780-TIPS (8477) or text message C-R-I-M-E-S (274637) Keyword FMPD.
Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrests of the persons responsible for the murders of Sean and Stef'an and the attack that left so many injured. An additional reward of $20,000 being offered through a collective effort of the Fort Myers Police Department and the FBI brings the amount to $21,000.
Donations would be nice.
The apprehension of those responsible would be better.
For the families and for the future.
Let us do what we can.
- Citizen editorial