Detectives Investigating Suspicious Death

Original Post: Sunday, May 14, 2023
Updated: Monday, May 15, 2023

Detectives are currently investigating a suspicious death that occurred last night at the Seven Palms apartment complex. This appears to be an isolated incident and there does not appear to be any threat to the public.

This is an ongoing investigation and further information is not available at this time. We will provide updates when available and appropriate.

UPDATE (May 15, 2023): At approximately 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2023, officers responded to a welfare check on an individual in a vehicle in the Seven Palms Apartment complex. Upon arrival, officers determined that the individual was deceased from an apparent gunshot wound that was not self-inflicted. It is believed that this was an isolated incident and was not a random act. There is no reason to believe there is any threat to the general public.

Punta Gorda Police and ABT Team Up for Underage Alcoholic Beverage Sales Enforcement Sweep

Posted: March 22, 2023

Punta Gorda Police Detectives and State Investigators from the Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (ABT) Bureau of Law Enforcement teamed up on March 20, 2023, for an enforcement sweep in the City of Punta Gorda targeting the sale of alcoholic beverage to minors. The operation included compliance checks of a total of ten (10) local commercial establishments within the City of Punta Gorda licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. Eight (8) establishments that were open for business were found to be in compliance.

Florida ABT & Punta Gorda Police

The commercial establishments that were found to be in compliance and did NOT sell alcohol to a minor were:

  • Murphy Oil (26359 Jones Loop Road)
  • Walmart (5001 Taylor Road)
  • Sunoco (1001 Burnt Store Road)
  • Publix (3941 Tamiami Trail)
  • Circle K (3949 Tamiami Trail)
  • Walgreens (3795 Tamiami Trail)
  • 7-Eleven (3139 Tamiami Trail)
  • Circle K (3035 Tamiami Trail)

The two (2) commercial establishments that were found NOT to be in compliance and DID sell alcohol to a minor were:

  • CVS (1949 Tamiami Trail)
  • Publix (2310 Tamiami Trail)

State investigators conducted follow-up compliance checks at two locations, both were found to be in compliance:

  • The Belgian Monk (318 Tamiami Trail, #111)
  • Isabel and Annabel’s Mexican Restaurant (201 W. Marion Avenue)

This operation was the result of a continuing partnership between ABT and the Punta Gorda Police Department to curb the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco to minors. The Punta Gorda Police Department, along with Drug Free Charlotte County and ABT, will continue to work constructively with local retail establishments where violations occur to ensure that employees are educated regarding Florida law. Operations like this one will continue.

Chief Pamela Davis urges all individuals to report the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco to law enforcement. Violations within the incorporated city limits of Punta Gorda can be reported to the Punta Gorda Police Department by calling 941-639-4111.

Police Searching for Teen Missing from Punta Gorda

Posted: March 11, 2023
Updated: March 12, 2023

Detectives with the Punta Gorda Police Department are searching for a teen that went missing earlier today from the Home Depot where she works, located at 3941 Tamiami Trail in Punta Gorda. Sixteen-year-old Gracelyn Rose Pierce was last seen at this location when she left for her lunch break around 1:10 p.m. She was wearing black leggings, a black t-shirt, and black Crocs shoes when she left. She never returned from her lunch break.

Gracelyn Rose Pierce is approximately 5′ 4″ and 170 pounds. She has long light-brown hair and goes by “Gracie.” If you have any information on her whereabouts, please contact the Punta Gorda Police Department at 941-639-4111.

UPDATE: Detectives have confirmed that Gracelyn Rose Pierce is a runaway and that there was no foul play. If you have any information on her whereabouts, please contact the police department.

UPDATE: Gracelyn Rose Pierce was found safe and returned home.

Charlotte High Student Arrested for Posting Threat

Posted: January 26, 2023

Earlier today, the Punta Gorda Police Department was notified by the North Port Police Department of a threat made against Charlotte High School on Snapchat. The post stated that the poster planned to “shoot up” the school.

The individual who made the post was quickly identified as fourteen year old Collin Burger, a freshman student at Charlotte High. During an interview Burger admitted to sending the post, but stated it was meant as a “joke.” Burger did not have a weapon and there was no evidence that Burger had any plan to carry out the threat today.

Burger was arrested and charged with Making a Written Threat of a Mass Shooting, a second degree felony.

The Punta Gorda Police Department takes threats to our students and staff very seriously. Anyone who threatens violence against our schools, joking or not, faces serious legal consequences. We would like to thank the individual who reported this threat and to the North Port Police Department for their swift action.

Police Respond to Individual with Gunshot Wound

Posted: January 4, 2023

At approximately 9:07 a.m. this morning, the Punta Gorda Police Department responded to a residence on East Helen Avenue in Punta Gorda in reference to an individual who sustained a gunshot wound to the thigh.

The individual was transported to the hospital by Charlotte County EMS for their injury.

At this time, it is believed that this is an isolated incident and that there is no threat to the public. Local schools were placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure.

Detectives continue to investigate. If you have any information on this incident, please contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-780-8477. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.

Punta Gorda Police Vehicles Get New Look

Posted: December 22, 2022

Punta Gorda residents may have already noticed that some of the police department’s patrol vehicles have a new look. It has been about a decade since the Punta Gorda Police Department has updated the graphics and look of their vehicles. The new vehicles are black with a graphics package designed by the department’s very own Corporal Joshua Girard. As new vehicles are purchased over the next several years residents should expect to see more vehicles with the new scheme.

A Message from Punta Gorda Public Safety

Posted: October 3, 2022

The Punta Gorda Police & Fire Departments are working hard to address the public safety needs of our city residents. We have been working around the clock to respond to calls for service, check on the welfare of our citizens, respond to medical calls, and deter criminal activity that will inevitability occur as a result of a natural disaster.

Both the police and fire departments have all personnel working without days off to ensure we can address the needs of our community in this very difficult time. We would like to remind you to be good neighbors by checking on each other. Be patient. Resources are limited and there will be long lines.

As power is restored, many businesses will be able to re-open including gas stations, so it will get better. If you do not need to be on the streets, please remain home to help workers restore our infrastructure. There is still a curfew in place, which will be strictly enforced and violators will be subject to arrest.

Many of our first responders have not been home or seen their families. They are working hard to keep you safe and we will continue to work hard throughout this trying time.

Be cognizant of scams and unethical people offering to repair your homes. You should use reputable licensed contractors. Contact our non-emergency number at 941-639-4111 if you have any questions about scams. Please do not run generator inside your home or any enclosed area.

We are all in this together and we are Punta Gorda strong!

Homestead Police Department Arrives to Assist in Punta Gorda

Posted: September 30, 2022

A team from the Homestead Police Department arrived at the Public Safety Complex this morning to provide support to the Punta Gorda Police Department and community in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Residents may see Homestead police officers when they call the police department for service or are out in the community while we continue recovery efforts. The officers are functioning as Punta Gorda police officers during the State of Emergency.

“We are extremely grateful to Chief Rolle, the Homestead Police Department, and the Florida Police Chief’s Association for their immediate and generous response,” said Chief Davis. Before the storm had even passed I received a call from Homestead letting me know that help would be coming. There support will help the department and community immensely as we continue our post-storm response.”

Emergency Services to be Suspended During Storm

Posted: September 27, 2022

When we begin seeing sustained winds in excess of 45 miles per hour or higher in our area, all emergency services in the City of Punta Gorda will be suspended. Emergency and non-emergency phone lines will still be open for calls, but police and fire response will not be possible until the storm has passed. Once it is safe to resume emergency response calls will be answered in order of priority. There may be serious delays in response even after the storm has passed depending on damage, road blockage, and flood waters.

Investigation Determines No Specific Threat to Charlotte High School

Posted: August 19, 2022

Last night the Punta Gorda Police Department received several calls from parents regarding a Facebook post that stated that a student had threatened to “shoot up” Charlotte High School today. This potential threat was immediately investigated by the Punta Gorda Police Department with the assistance of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. After a thorough investigation it was determined that the threat was unfounded and that no specific threat had been made against Charlotte High School or any specific individual.

“We take any threat against our schools incredibly seriously. We will always investigate potential threats thoroughly and will take any action necessary to protect our students and school staff. We want to again remind students, school personnel, and parents to always report potential threats or suspicious activity to law enforcement,” said Chief Pam Davis.

Suspicious activity or threats can be reported directly to law enforcement or through the FortifyFL tip line.