3 arrested after Fort Myers nightclub shooting

Police believe fatal shooting was gang-related

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Three men have been arrested following a fatal shooting early Monday at a nightclub in Fort Myers.

Derrick Church, 19, Demetrius O'Neal, 19, and Tajze Battle, 22, were taken into custody after a police chase ensued after the shooting.

Church faces charges of assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer, and fleeing and eluding arrest. He suffered minor injuries after being shot by an officer.

O'Neal and Battle both face charges of resisting an officer without violence.

The men have not been charged for the actual shooting at Club Blu, although detectives said the men are persons of interest in the case.

Two teenagers were killed and more than a dozen were injured in the shooting.

Stephanie White clutched a stack of photos as images of her slain son aired on television news accounts of the shooting.

With the Orlando massacre at the Pulse nightclub still fresh on her mind, White had advised her 18-year-old son, Stef'an Strawder, on what to do if there was a shooting: "Hit the floor, find a table."

But when gunfire erupted in the parking lot of the Fort Myers club, Strawder didn't have anywhere to hide. He was killed along with Sean Archilles, 14. Police said 17 people ranging in age from 12 to 27 were wounded during the swimsuit-themed party for teens.

Police said they believe that the shooting was gang-related.

The city of Fort Myers has opened a fund to assist the families affected by the nightclub shooting.

In a statement, the city announced a partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the United Way of Lee, Charlotte, Glades and Okeechobee Counties to open the TOGETHER Fort Myers fund.

Mayor Randall Henderson Jr. said there has been "a tremendous outpouring to our city from across the country."

The United Way also is offering counseling services.

Sarah Owen of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation said the community was seeking donations and assistance much like it did after Hurricane Charley struck the area in 2004.

Donations can be made at www.FloridaCommunity.com.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police at 239-321-7700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.

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