On Friday, September 20, 2013, at 10:20 a.m., the Lee County Sheriff's Office began receiving calls about a shooting. The incident occurred at a residence in the 11000 block of Smokey Drive, Bonita Springs, Florida. Deputies responded to the scene.
Upon arrival, deputies found a man laying on the ground who had sustained fatal wounds. The victim was identified as 50 year old Joseph Gales of 11026 Smokey Drive, Bonita Springs. Witnesses reported seeing a red van leave the area after hearing gunshots in the neighborhood. The area was secured as a crime scene and suspect vehicle information broadcast for deputies and other law enforcement to be on the lookout.
Due to the nature of the incident, detectives assigned to the Major Crimes Unit arrived to continue the investigation and developed a suspect identified as 51 year old Randy Marquardt of 10351 West Terry Street, Bonita Springs. The gunman was known to drive a 2004, red Pontiac van.
At 12:35 p.m., the Sheriff's Office received a call about a disturbance at a residence on the 12000 block of Terabella Way, Fort Myers, Florida. The suspect vehicle was located and information obtained which led to the capture of the wanted subject.
Preliminary details reveal Marquardt shot Mr. Gales multiple times before fleeing Smokey Drive in his van. He received a phone call from a friend which tipped him off to the fact law enforcement was looking for his red van. Marquardt knew his estranged wife was babysitting an infant in Fort Myers and drove to the home to get her car and ditch his van. Afraid his wife would turn him in, he entered the house and forced her at gunpoint to leave; he grabbed her hair and arm by one hand while holding the gun in the other. He drove away with his wife, leaving the 8 month old child unattended at the home.
After kidnapping his estranged wife, the suspect discarded a bloody shirt worn when he shot Mr. Gales, as well as the gun used. Eventually, the kidnap victim was able to return back to the residence and provide the last known location of the suspect. Marquardt was reported on foot near the McDonalds on Daniels Parkway where he was taken into custody without further incident. Four marijuana cigarettes were located in his possession when he was searched. The gun and shirt he had disposed were recovered. The infant was found to be unharmed.
Marquardt had been transported to the Lee County Jail and is charged with second degree murder, armed occupied burglary, kidnapping, and possession of marijuana less than twenty grams. An inmate photo and additional information is available on the Sheriff's Office website by clicking on the Criminal Activity tab, then Arrest Search and enter his name.
Media inquiries are directed to Lieutenant Larry King, Public Information Officer, via pager.