Florida sheriff hails ‘hero’ sniper who saved bank robbery hostages, slams blue state ‘failed policies'


Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno says people don’t just move to Florida for palm trees and beaches.

“It’s because of law and order,” he said during an interview with Fox News Digital. “Their families are safe. Their children are safe in schools, and it’s not like other places, unfortunately, that we see today.”  

Sheriff Marceno believes in transparency. His department made that clear by publicizing bank surveillance footage from Feb. 6, when an alleged robber was holding a man and a woman hostage in a Fort Myers Bank of America. After suspect Sterling Alavache allegedly held a knife to the female hostage’s throat, a special operations unit sniper shot a bullet that blasted through a computer monitor before striking and killing Alavache. 

The video, posted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) to Facebook on Saturday, has since gone viral, and the sheriff believes he knows why. 

FLORIDA SNIPER SHOOTS, KILLS BANK ROBBER HOLDING HOSTAGES THROUGH COMPUTER MONITOR: VIDEO

“Those are someone’s father, brother, mother, sister, family member that went to work just to do a job and unfortunately are presented with a deadly force situation,” Marceno said.  “So horrifying. When I drive by the building now, I think about it every single time I drive by, so, of course, it’s going to attract a lot of attention.”

Marceno is also a big believer in “how you train is how you perform,” he said, and is extremely proud of how his team handled the February bank incident. 

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Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno was elected in 2020, according to his online biography. He says other major cities do not have "law and order" like Lee County, Florida does. 

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno was elected in 2020, according to his online biography. He says other major cities do not have “law and order” like Lee County, Florida does.  (Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

“We pray for the best, but we train worst-case scenario forward, and we’re ready for anything that comes our way,” he said, adding that the department uses the “best technology known to mankind.”

“Our SWAT sniper is an absolute hero. He is a veteran, he’s a hero. The whole team from every level comes together,” Marceno said.

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FL LCSO sniper before firing

Moment before a Lee County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit sniper fired upon an alleged bank robber who was holding hostages on Feb. 6, 2024.  (Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

Alavache had an “extensive criminal history” and was a convicted felon, LCSO said. The sheriff wonders why he was still on the streets prior to the bank incident.

“I do recognize the failed policies in my hometown of New York, in California, in other places where, you know, allowing violent criminals to roam the streets and reoffend – that’s a failure. Our justice system has failed in other places. Not in the state of Florida.”

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FL bank suspect Sterling Alavache

Sterling Alavache, 36, had an “extensive criminal history” that included drug trafficking, aggravated assault and carrying a concealed firearm from several states, LCSO said. He was a convicted felon.   (Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

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“No one gets to kill an innocent person in my county,” the sheriff said. 



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