Suspect Shot, Killed After Firing High-Powered Rifle at Natural Gas Pipeline
UPDATE: 2/27/2017, 5:07 P.M. – Officials have identified the suspect as James Leroy Marker, 66, of Chokoloskee, FL.
Officials say Marker caused extensive damage to a section of the Sabal Pipeline before fleeing into Citrus County, where he fired on officers and was ultimately shot and killed.
UPDATE: 2:50 P.M. – The Florida Highway Patrol is now reporting that a Trooper was also involved in today’s fatal shooting of the Sabal Pipeline Incident.
According to a spokesperson with the FHP, the Florida Highway Patrol responded to a request for assistance from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office which was in pursuit of a shooting suspect on US Hwy 41 south of Floral Park Drive stemming from an incident which began in Marion County. An FHP Trooper located the suspect’s 2016 Chevrolet pickup traveling southbound on US Hwy 41 and completed a precision immobilization technique (PIT) in which both vehicles came to final rest along the east shoulder of the roadway. As both vehicles stopped, the suspect fired upon the Citrus County Deputies and the Trooper who both returned fired. The suspect was fatally wounded at the scene. No injuries were sustained by the Deputies or the Trooper who is a four year veteran of the FHP and is assigned to the Brooksville District of Troop C. The incident remains under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
FLORAL CITY (CITRUS) – Officials are reporting the death of an alleged Sabal Pipeline protester, after a high-speed chase led the suspect being shot and killed by Citrus County Deputies on US-41.
According to officials, around 9:00 a.m. this morning Marion County officials received reports that an individual was shooting at Sabal Pipeline Equipment and the Pipeline itself with a high-powered rifle. Officials say the shooter fled the area and was pursued by Marion County Deputies, the Florida Highway Patrol, and Citrus County Deputies, after the suspect entered Citrus County on Hwy 200.
The pursuit came to an end after the suspect crashed south of Floral Park Drive, where he engaged with Citrus County Deputies and was subsequently shot to death. The name of the suspect has not been revealed and the deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.
Sheriff Mike Prendergast said “We know that the suspect was armed and extremely dangerous, and pending the examination of the evidence at the scene, we will be able to determine what other weapons he had in his possession at the time of the shooting. Fortunately, none of our Citrus County Deputies, Marion County Deputies or Florida Highway Patrol Troopers were injured as a result of this crime.”
On Wednesday, two protesters were arrested after they crawled inside the Sabal Pipeline and remained for several hours. Rescue workers eventually removed the protesters by force and they were subsequently arrested. It is not known if the individuals arrested or the group they belong to is related to events of today. CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY
This story is still developing, check back periodically for updates.
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