Video from inside a Florida bank during a hostage situation shows a SWAT officer neutralizing the suspect with a single blow

By Joanna Putman

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has released new images of a deadly hostage taking which occurred at a Bank of America in South Florida in February, WEAR reported.

The footage, released June 8, is intended to provide additional context to the incident, which ended with a SWAT sniper fatally shooting the suspect, according to the report.

The incident involved a bank robbery in which the suspect, Sterling Ramon Alavache, 36, took two hostages on February 6. Alavache was armed with a knife and claimed to have a bomb, according to the sheriff’s office.

Hostage negotiations began and SWAT was deployed to the scene. Marceno said the situation escalated when the suspect became physically aggressive.

“He started to put one of the hostages under the head and put the knife to his throat,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said.

Security footage from inside the bank mirrors that description, showing the suspect moving a man and a woman to a corner of the room and threatening them.

At this critical moment, a SWAT sniper intervened, shooting and killing Alavache. Video taken behind the SWAT team’s training shows officers lining up, with one officer setting up a rifle in the firing position supported by team members, according to the incident briefing.

After observing the suspect threaten the lives of the hostages, the officer fired a shot through a computer screen, killing the suspect, police videos and security footage show.

None of the hostages were injured during the incident.

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