Law enforcement requires a special person, one willing to accept the risks of the position along with the satisfaction service to the community provides. Eight deputies have made the ultimate sacrifice at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office Fallen Deputy Memorial website can be found here.
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Deputy Margena Silvia Nunez
November 14, 1961 – October 22, 2006
On Oct. 22, 2006, a drunken driver struck and killed Deputy Margena Nunez while she was conducting traffic control at the scene of a fatal crash in Lehigh Acres. Despite the flashing lights and flares meant to detour traffic around the accident area, the driver struck Nunez’s vehicle. Deputy Nunez was 44 and survived by her son Anthony and daughter Faith.
Deputy Nunez started in 1999 as a civilian records assistant before becoming a Corrections Deputy. She was a road patrol deputy for only 11 months before the fatal accident. Her sister, Rose Marie Aikman, told the Fort Myers News-Press that she followed the career of her father, who also was a police officer. “She knew the risks, and we were nervous, but this is what she really wanted to do,” Aikman said. “She prepared her children, strange as it seems.”
April 20, 2003
On April 19, 2003, police were called to a report of a suspicious person. Canine Alko and his handler tracked the path of the suspect. The suspect stabbed Alko during the apprehension, and Alko later died from his injuries on April 20, 2003.
Corporal Alfredo Banos
November 8, 1948 – January 20, 2001
On Jan. 20, 2001, Cpl. Alfredo Banos responded to a backup call involving a drunken man armed with a machete and threatening others. He was involved in a fatal crash on Corkscrew Road while en route. Four people died in the two-car accident.
Corporal Banos was 52 and survived by his wife of 32 years, Yolanda E., son Alfredo Jr. and daughter Yolanda A. He started as a Corrections Officer in 1991 and moved to patrol in 1993, which was his dream. Corporal Banos was a law enforcement officer of the year in 1995 by the Bonita Springs Optimist Club for his outreach efforts with children. “It’s a big loss,” Sheriff Rod Shoap told the Fort Myers News-Press at the time. “It’s a sad day for all of law enforcement, not just for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. It’s a sad day for the community. I don’t want to leave out the people in the other car. It’s a sad day for everyone.”
Deputy Dwight Lynn Hall
June 28, 1947 – April 11, 1979
On April 11, 1979, a suspicious person was observed after hours at a Fort Myers Beach park in what turned out to be a stolen vehicle. During questioning, the suspect – a 15-year-old runaway from Indiana – fled from the vehicle. Deputy Lynn Hall tackled the teenager where a struggle ensued. Deputy Hall was fatally shot only 20 feet away from the original encounter.
Medical technicians quickly arrived at the scene, according to published reports, and struggled for more than 45 minutes to stabilize Deputy Hall before he was transported to Fort Myers Community Hospital. Deputy Hall, who had been with the agency for two years, was 31 and survived by his wife, Karen, daughter Tamara and stepson Richard Clemmer Jr.
Law enforcement officers from throughout the state were among the nearly 1,000 people who paid their respects at Deputy Hall’s funeral. “Lynn was always smiling,” Sheriff Frank Wanicka told the Fort Myers News-Press. “He was an officer who was well liked and well respected by every man in the department. Everyone is really going to miss him.” The Fort Myers Beach park was later dedicated to Deputy Hall and renamed Lynn Hall Park in December 1981.
Deputy Richard Keith Eva
January 1, 1944 – February 12, 1972
On Feb. 12, 1972, a trustee escaped from the Lee County Jail. Deputy Richard Eva stopped a suspected stolen vehicle and recognized the driver as the escaped prisoner. After placing the prisoner under arrest, the prisoner resisted and managed to get Deputy Eva’s weapon, fatally shooting him and critically injuring Conservation Officer Bill Jackman. The seven-year veteran of the agency was 28 and survived by his wife Ann, daughter Sommer Ann and son Richard K.
Ann Eva was a radio dispatcher at the Bonita Springs Substation the night her husband was killed. Despite knowing her husband had been shot, Ann Eva remained on duty to coordinate efforts between law enforcement and rescue personnel.
Hundreds of law enforcement and public officials honored Deputy Eva at his funeral. The Rev. Robert Asmuth told the mourners that he had left them a “great legacy of fulfilling the responsibilities of those who wear the officer’s badge. He lived it, breathed it, loved it. And, he died for it,” the Fort Myers News-Press reported. The Bonita Springs Substation was dedicated to Richard Eva in 1996.