Stef’An Strawder was killed in Monday’s shooting at a Fort Myers nightclub, cutting short the life of the promising high school basketball player and Division I college recruit just before he entered his senior year.
Strawder was the victim of a shooting that left more than a dozen people injured and two dead, the second mass shooting at a Florida nightclub in a span of a little less than two months.
The shooting took place in the early morning hours on Monday at Club Blu, which was hosting a party for teenagers. Police responded to a call to find several people suffering gunshot wounds in the parking lot, Capt. Jim Mulligan of the city’s police department said in a statement (via the New York Times).
Police said three people were taken into custody but have not yet named the three or said if they are suspects in the shooting.
Authorities said they are still investigating the scene and also looking into two other sites in the city, including Parkway Street, where a home and several vehicles were hit with gunfire, injuring one person.
Club Blue released a statement on Facebook offering some insight into the incident, claiming that it was someone outside the party who was responsible for the shooting.
“We are deeply sorry for all involved. We tried to give the teens WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A SAFE PLACE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. Ages 12-17. There was armed security as well as full security,inside and out. As the club was closing and parents were picking their children up…..that’s when all this took place. There was nothing more we could of done az you see it was not kids at the party that did this despicable act. Our condolences to all parties involved.”
The New York Times reported that Club Blu’s liquor license had been revoked last month, though the reason was not clear.
The Fort Myers nightclub shooting left two dead and at least 16 injured.
“Sixteen people were treated in the trauma center and emergency department,” Cheryl Garn, a hospital spokeswoman, said in a statement issued early Monday morning. “One victim expired at the hospital.”
Stef’An Strawder was the first victim of the Fort Myers nightclub shooting to be named. His basketball coach, Evin Graham, confirmed to WPTV that Strawder was dead. The report noted that the five-foot-10 point guard was about to enter his senior year and was generating interest among Division I schools.
Strawder had already generated plenty of buzz online, with a number of packaged YouTube highlight reels showcasing his ball-handling skills and his knack for driving to the hoop. Videos dated as far back to 2012 when Strawder was a seventh grader playing AAU basketball.
The buzz continued to grow after a strong junior year for Stef’An Strawder. MaxPreps noted that he averaged 15.6 points per game to go along with 5.5 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.8 steals.
Strawder helped his team to a 19-8 record this year and gained a bit of national attention himself when he led his team to a win over Mariner, a nationally ranked team that was 20-0 at the time.
Strawder scored 25 points and had a key defensive stop at the end to seal the victory for his team.
“This is a huge win,” Strawder said (via USA Today). “We knew they were undefeated and it wasn’t going to be easy. We just wanted it so bad and we would have done anything.”
The Fort Myers nightclub shooting and the death of Stef’An Strawder come just weeks after another deadly shooting in Florida at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, one that left 49 people dead.
[Photo by Lynne Sladky/AP Images]