By Nikki McKim
Charles J. Schweickert, 68, formerly of Falls City, was shot by Florida police last Monday, May 25, 2020, after firing a gun from his fourth-floor balcony.
According to reports, Schweickert is listed to be in critical condition after police shot a single shot at him, hitting him in the stomach at his Fort Lauderdale residence.
Schweickert faces two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one charge of shooting a deadly missile into a vehicle.
Schweickert lived in the Fort Lauderdale, FL, apartment condo where the shooting took place.
Police said that they received a call just before 7:00 p.m. about someone shooting a gun.
Fort Lauderdale police chief Rick Maglione said, “Upon arrival, we were also simultaneously flagged down by a delivery driver who stated that he was confronted by an armed man. He fired several rounds at the van, striking it numerous times.”
According to NBC Six South Florida News, Police said the shooter (Schweickert) allegedly shot at a delivery vehicle and at then at the police multiple times before the police shot back.
A Police statement said Schweickert is still in the hospital, critically injured, but stable and expected to survive.
The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending the result of the investigation. The officer’s name has not been released.
Schweickert was in Falls City last fall when he went before the City Council during their September 16, 2019 meeting. He spoke on an issue he had previously asked to be published as a “Sez-I” in the Falls City Journal. He addressed the City Council on the storage of tires being allowed in what he referred to as the “C-1 High-End Residential/Commercial and Historic Districts.” Schweickert was referring to a local business storing tires on a vacant lot north of their place in several adjacent buildings in the downtown area. Schweickert described it as a fire safety issue.
In his Sez-I published in the September 5, 2019 issue of the Falls City Journal, Mr. Schweickert, an architect, wrote, “My profession happens to be Urban Design and Studies so even though I have never encountered such a unique Urban situation we Architects are most of all problem solvers. And the Falls City Edge won’t have to avoid this tire area anymore.” Schweickert went on to suggest that the location be used as a kid-friendly ‘Firestone Historical Museum and Park.’ He concluded his letter by saying, “I am an award-winning Architect and this Museum will also be featured in my portfolio. And the tire company has almost been here in Falls City as long as Firestone was in Ft. Myers. Is this Kismet or what? I can’t wait to get started and let’s get to work! Did I mention that my professional services are pro-bono? [signed] Charles J. Schweickert, AIA, LEED AP.”
During the September 16, 2019, City Council meeting, Schweickert was allowed to speak with a time limit. Once his time expired, he continued speaking. He was asked to allow the meeting to proceed but continued. Police Chief Duane Armbruster informed him that he would be allowed to attend the rest of the meeting, but wouldn’t be able to speak again. Schweickert then left.
It’s unclear what the motive for the shooting was at this time, but witnesses said they were impressed with how quickly the Fort Lauderdale police department ended the shootout.
The incident remains under investigation.