FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Seventy-five feet separated the lifeless bodies of police Officer Andrew Widman and the man suspected of shooting him, Abel Arango, on a downtown Fort Myers street when detectives first arrived at the scene.
A little more than a month after Widman was killed, the Fort Myers Police Department released the results of its investigation into how both men died.
It concluded the four Fort Myers police officers who fired at and ultimately killed Arango acted in self defense, a conclusion reached by the State Attorney's Office weeks earlier. The officers - Alain Gagnon, Bradley Ades, Wolfgang Daniel and Michael Perry - will return to full duty, after being on administrative leave with pay since the shootings.
The report, which was released with a tape recording of 911 calls and interviews with witnesses, paints a vivid picture of how events unfolded early in the morning of July 18.
"Everything happened so fast," Arango's friend, Hector Alberro, told a detective at one point after the shooting.
But the night had begun with a clear plan.
Alberro, 40, his friend Crystal Turcotte, 26, and her boyfriend, Arango, 27, were out for a night of drinking and shooting pool in downtown Fort Myers. They began at the Indigo Room, at 2219 Main St., before moving on to Neo Lounge, at 1528 Hendry St. They finished the night by getting pizza on Hendry Street.
The officers - Widman, Gagnon, Daniel, Ades and Perry - were joined by Officer Scott Newbury and Patrol Sergeant Roger Valdivia to patrol downtown as the bars closed and patrons filed onto the streets to their cars. Some of the officers patrolled on bicycle, while others were in cruisers.
Around 1:50 a.m., Gagnon, Daniel and Newbury were standing on Hendry Street when Kyle Myers, an employee at the pizzeria, approached. He told officers he overheard a couple arguing, and that the man said he was going to get a gun from his car to shoot the woman.
At that moment, the woman, Turcotte, walked by the officers toward the Wachovia bank parking lot across Main Street, telling officers "everything is fine."
Gagnon, Daniel and Newbury walked toward the parking lot, where they had seen Arango and Alberro follow Turcotte. When they saw only the two men talking alone, they decided there was no conflict and headed back north, crossing Main Street toward Club Neo on Hendry Street.
Moments later, Perry radioed the officers that a dispute had broken out in the parking lot. Gagnon and Daniel "ran straight" to the lot, Gagnon told detectives. They were accompanied by Widman.
But this time, only Turcotte was in the bank parking lot. Arango and Alberro had walked back to the north side of Main, to the ENvie Lounge, next to Indigo Room, Perry told the officers. Gagnon turned to see the two men standing against the glass windows of the bar, Alberro with his arm around his friend.
Alberro, who told detectives in two interviews that he was drunk during the incident, said he remembered talking to Arango in front of ENvie, but not in the parking lot.
The argument between Arango and Turcotte was "the usual" for the two, he said.
"She's just jealous of everything," he said of Turcotte, whom he considers a friend. Alberro didn't know what the two were arguing about that night, he said.
Outside of ENvie, "I'm telling him to chill or whatever with Crystal, like leave." he said in his second interview, nearly 17 hours after the shooting.
Friends would later tell Alberro he was restraining Arango outside of ENvie as the officers approached.
Gagnon said the two seemed involved in a "disturbance."
From the parking lot, Widman began running toward the two, with Gagnon right behind him, the officer told detectives. They arrived at the same time.
Gagnon heard Alberro tell Arango to "put it away" as the police approached.
"And it clicked in my head," Gagnon told detectives. As Gagnon looked for a weapon in Arango's waistband, the suspect pulled up his right hand.
Gagnon ran into nearby Patio de Leon, a plaza next to ENvie Lounge.
"And then I heard the one shot and I heard a bunch of shots," he said.
Arango had fired two shots from a 9 mm handgun, detectives concluded. One bullet hit Widman in the right cheek and went through his brain, killing him.
Arango then ran away, heading west on Main Street, toward the intersection with Broadway. Alberro ran into Indigo Room, he told detectives.
He didn't know his friend had a gun, he said.
Nearby officers hurried to the scene.
In a span of minutes, Arango ran up and down Broadway, firing and receiving fire from officers surrounding the scene.
Perry and Daniel fired three shots that missed. Bradley Ades, farther south on Broadway, unloaded four 12-gauge shotgun rounds at Arango and two .40-caliber rounds from his handgun, each missing the target.
Arango ran back north to the intersection with Main Street when Gagnon, standing in the middle of the road, saw him. The officer fired nine shots at the suspect, missing each time.
After ducking behind a nearby patrol car, Gagnon shot two more rounds at Arango, one of which hit the suspect in the collarbone. It severed an artery in Arango's neck, killing him.
Altogether, the exchange involved 25 shots - five fired by Arango and 20 fired by the officers.
Gagnon would later tell detectives that Widman had only been three feet away from Arango when he was killed.
One of the detectives asked, "Was Widman, uh, was he conversing with (Arango) or not?"
Gagnon responded, "Didn't have a chance ... didn't have a chance."