Dr. Leroy Hommerding Stabbed Sunday
Dr. Leroy Hommerding, Director of the Fort Myers Beach Public Library was stabbed early Sunday morning as he opened the library’s garage for the second day of a two-day book sale. Several volunteers on hand for the book sale witnessed the stabbing.
According to Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, who held a brief press conference Sunday morning, a number of witnesses followed the man who stabbed Hommerding and relayed his location to sheriff’s deputies who quickly arrested him. Marceno said he did not resist arrest.
Adam Mitchell Soules, 36, was arrested and will be charged with second degree homicide. Witnesses said Soules was found on the roof of the now closed Topps Supermarket building. He is being held at the Lee County jail. Library staff indicate that he is one of the homeless people who frequent the Beach Library. Hommerding has often shared his welcoming approach to serving the community, including the homeless, with the Library Board. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office website indicates that Soules was arrested for loitering in 2014. At that time his last known address was listed as Lehigh Acres.
Sheriff Marceno reported that deputies were called to the library at 2755 Estero Blvd on Fort Myers Beach at 9:06 a.m. Sunday morning regarding a fatal stabbing. While he did not identify Hommerding, witnesses and library staff members did.
“Thanks to the rapid and professional response by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the assistance of concerned citizens, this outrageous crime will not go unpunished,” said Marceno.
“It is a sad and tragic day for Fort Myers Beach,” said Fort Myers Beach council member Anita Cereceda calling for prayers for the friends, family and co-workers of Dr. Hommerding. Dr. Hommerding was very active in the Fort Myers Beach community. In addition to his role as Library Director, he served as Treasurer of the Estero Island Historic Society and was an active volunteer with the Fort Myers Beach Kiwanis Club.
Dr. Leroy Hommerding will be most remembered for his 8+ year effort with the Library Board of Directors, planning, designing and building the new library that officially opened in October 2012.
The Fort Myers Beach Library Board of Directors will meet on Tuesday, January 22 at 6:30pm at the library, as previously scheduled. Board Chair Sallie Seabury indicated that the board will discuss the library’s next steps at that meeting.