Passerby shoots, kills suspect in I-75 incident in Lee Co.

ESTERO, Fla. — A passerby shot and killed a person who was fighting with a Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputy on Interstate 75 Monday morning.

Deputy First Class Dean Bardes, a 12-year-veteran, was working an accident at mile marker 126 when the suspect came upon him, causing Bardes to pursue him at high speeds, according to multiple sources.

Bardes and the suspect exited their vehicles at the Corkscrew Road exit and a fight started, sources said.

The passerby, who had a Concealed Weapons License, exited his vehicle and instructed the suspect to stop beating the deputy, sources said.

After noncompliance from the suspect, the passerby shot the suspect three times, sources said. The suspect later died.

Although Bardes was crying for help, he was not shot, sources said. He was treated and released from Lee Memorial Hospital.

It was unclear whether Bardes fired his weapon.

Deputies spent part of Monday afternoon searching the median of I-75 in both directions between mile markers 126 & 127, sources said. They did not immediately say what they were searching for.

The exit ramp is expected to remain closed until 9 p.m., the Florida Highway Patrol said. Drivers are advised to use alternative routes such as Three Oaks Parkway or U.S. 41.

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