Video shows man killed by sniper while holding two people hostage in Florida bank

The Lee County Sheriff's Office has released new footage from a bank hostage incident that took place in February

NBC Universal, Inc.

Newly released surveillance footage from inside a Florida bank shows the moment a sheriff's office sniper took down a suspect during a potential robbery and hostage incident.

The footage released by the Lee County Sheriff's Office on Saturday shows the Feb. 7 incident at a Bank of America in Fort Myers.

Officials said 36-year-old Sterling Avalanche was armed with a knife when he entered the bank and made verbal threats before taking two individuals hostage behind the counter.

When officers arrived, they attempted to negotiate with him, but officials said he got upset and became physical.

“He started to put one of the hostages in a headlock and had the knife to her throat,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has released new footage from bank hostage incident that took place in February

At this point, the SWAT team decided to use their sniper, shooting and killing Avalanche almost instantly.

In the surveillance video, a group of officers line up horizontally and an officer is seen standing behind them pointing the sniper rifle.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the men and women of law enforcement today, my family members today, the SWAT team today. How you train is how you perform, and this is exactly what we train for,” said Marceno.

Contact Us