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LCSO deputy's use of force justified in suicide-by-cop incident

July 13, 2017
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The State Attorney's Office announced today that a deputy's actions were justified in an officer-involved shooting involving a Lehigh Acres woman who attempted suicide-by-cop.

State Attorney Stephen Russell reported that a legal review by his office of the April 22 incident on Interstate 75 determined that Lee County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Stacey Caivano was "reasonably justified in using deadly force to protect herself from the apparent danger Nicole Kramer posed."

"Nicole Kramer's actions reasonably created a well-founded fear in Corporal Caivano's mind that death or great bodily harm was imminent, and therefore, justified the use of force," the state noted. "Kramer committed an aggravated assault on Corporal Caivano when she pointed the black semiautomatic-looking BB gun at her. That act qualifies as a forcible felony as defined by Florida Statute."

Article Photos

Nicole Amy Kramer

"There is no basis for further action by this office," it added.

Kramer, 46, of 25 Palm Blvd., is facing one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to court documents. On July 13, she remained at the Lee County Jail on $50,000 bond.

At about 3:33 a.m., the LCSO received a service call about a suspect having shot into an occupied vehicle on Interstate 75 in Fort Myers. When Caivano arrived on scene, the caller - later identified as Kramer - exited her car and walked toward the front of it like she was looking at or inspecting it.

According to the review, Caivano got out of her patrol car and began to walk toward Kramer, who simultaneously left the front of her vehicle and began to walk toward Caivano. As Caivano got closer, she saw Kramer pull out what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun and point it at her.

"At this moment, Corporal Caivano thought she was going to get shot," the document states.

Caivano began backing up while commanding Kramer to drop the gun repeatedly. Kramer refused, continuing to advance toward her, so Caivano drew her firearm and fired two rounds at Kramer.

Kramer fell to the ground, sustaining a single gunshot wound to the right chest.

She was transported to the Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Caivano was not injured in the incident.

According to officials, a handwritten note was located inside of Kramer's vehicle that detailed her attempted suicide-by-cop plan and apologized to law enforcement for forcing them to kill her.

An investigation revealed that Kramer had tried suicide numerous times and had placed the phony 911 call with the intention of confronting law enforcement and provoking deadly force. The weapon she used was a black air soft pistol, which had no visible markings to distinguish it from an actual firearm.

According to the review, an acquaintance and former roommate of Kramer's was interviewed. She stated that Kramer had tried suicide at least 20 times since she had known her. Kramer had talked about getting into a situation where an officer would have to shoot her if she pretended to have a firearm.

"It seems clear from the totality of the evidence that Ms. Kramer was intending on committing 'suicide-by-cop,'" the document states. "She had attempted suicide in the past, she talked about planning a similar event involving a law enforcement officer wrote a suicide note, and she pointed a 'BB gun' that 'looked real' at the deputy while refusing to comply with commands to drop it."

On May 16, Kramer was released from the hospital and booked at the Lee County Jail.



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