BREAKING: Reports Citrus Deputy Injured After Exchange of Gunfire in Hernando
UPDATE; 10:46 P.M. – En lieu of a formal media release from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, the following Facebook post was released by officials: At approximately 5 p.m., Saturday February 17th, our deputies started looking for a Blue KIA Sedona after dispatch received a call stating 28 year-old Brian Batchelder from Hernando, was making threats to shoot someone at the Xtreme games 3 store at the 41 / 200 apex across from the Cumberland Farms gas station in Hernando. Patrol units quickly found Batchelder speeding down 41 north towards the shop. Batchelder failed to stop his vehicle. A pursuit ensued NB on 200. Because of high speeds and traffic volume, the chase was cancelled. Marion County Sheriff’s Office was also notified.
A short time later, deputies found Batchelder speeding down SB 491 and then SB on 41 through Hernando, passing the Xtreme game store at which point he pointed a firearm at deputies. After multiple attempts to try and stop the vehicle, Batchelder ran the red light at the 41 and 200 apex traveling at a high rate of speed, directly towards our deputies who put themselves between Batchelder and citizens. He slammed his vehicle into a sheriff’s vehicle, which in turn, pushed our vehicle into three other parked cars.
The impact of the crash forced other vehicles into a CCSO deputy. That deputy sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital.
Deputies were then forced to discharge their weapons towards Batchelder’s vehicle. Deputies were able to get Batchelder out of the vehicle, but he died a short time later.
“This is a very tragic turn of events, where a man lost his life. We are very thankful that our officers were not seriously injured and that the many citizens who were very close to this extremely dangerous situation did not suffer from catastrophic injuries,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “Again, we will count on FDLE to do a thorough investigation.”
FDLE will now take over the investigation. The deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave with pay per agency policy. We will not be releasing any more information regarding this case until FDLE is done with their investigation.
HERNANDO (CITRUS) – Citrus County Officials have shut down The apex at U.S. 41 North and FL-200, where there are reports of a deputy involved shooting.
Officials have not commented on the situation at this time, but there are unconfirmed reports that a deputy may have been injured after gunfire was exchanged at that intersection.
There are also reports that others may have been injured during the exchange of gunfire.
We will bring more on this story as it develops.
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