August 26, 2019
Florida Naples, FL

Witness recounts moments leading up to fatal shooting in Naples

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NAPLES, Fla. Reubens Cesseus recalled the feeling of 25-year-old Franklin Francois’ beating heart just moments before he died.

Francois, of Fort Myers, was killed in a shooting early Sunday morning on the 1100 block of Sixth Avenue North, the Naples Police Department said.

Cesseus, who owns a tax company, was walking out of the office shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday when he saw someone raise a gun and take fire.

“I was on the phone with her [his wife] and I saw two people walking to the back going to French Quarter and I just gazed at them, but thought nothing … then seconds later, one turned around and started shooting,” he said.

MORE: Fort Myers man, 25, killed in Naples shooting

Cesseus ran back inside and called 911, but when he looked out the window he saw Francois laying on the ground wounded.

Cesseus waited for police to arrive and then assisted with CPR.

“That’s what I’m living with right now. It’s like every time I kind of touch my heart I feel him … three times the beep on my hand … boom, boom, boom,” Cesseus said.

Francois was taken to Naples Community Hospital, just blocks away, but he later succumbed to his injuries.

A memorial held Monday where the shooting took place reminds Cesseus of the young man he briefly met, but could not save.

“I was very upset at myself, I should’ve went out there quicker, maybe that would’ve gave it more time for him to make it to the hospital,” Cesseus said.

Investigators arrested a man near the murder scene on drug charges, but did not confirm if he’s connected to the murder.

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