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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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  • Green is the new red.

    Tuesday, 28 February 2017, 7:49 pm
  • Ladies and gentlemen…..Welcome to Liberal Land! Personally, I wonder why it took so long to put the a#$hole to bed.

    Monday, 27 February 2017, 8:41 pm
  • As if my husbands job isn’t dangerous enough, now I have to worry about my husband and friends being shot at by protesters! Give us a break people! These are men and women who are husbands, wives, fathers, mothers grandfathers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles and friends who have people at home who love them! They make a ton a sacrifices for there families and are only trying to make a living too! If you want to protest, then protest, I don’t have a problem with that at all. It’s your right! But don’t freaking shoot at people!

    Sunday, 26 February 2017, 11:34 pm
  • guy was an idiot. play stupid games you win stupid prizes.. but aside from that i guarantee most people have no clue about Sabal Pipeline. They have already been fined for destroying over a 1000 acres of protected wetlands illegally in florida and with reckless disregard. They have been caught pumping water for their project out of restricted bodies of water in florida. They are using fracking methods that have already displaced many families in other regions of the usa and damaged delicate ecological systems. There are many primary aquifer systems in florida and its not if its when this company has a major oops. Theyve also have been fined multiple times for already leaking toxic chemicals into our ground water in florida. They seem to throw money around and its written off as mistakes. Big business runs this country. Welcome to more wonderful forms of toxic health. The protesters are wasting time. Financial power and politics write the laws. Mock me now and laugh but the next huge war seen in our kids life time will be over basic needs like clean food and water. The current generation of corporate greed is busy making it a reality.

    Sunday, 26 February 2017, 9:29 pm
    • I’ll have a bacon cheeseburger and fries please….

      Monday, 27 February 2017, 12:45 am
    • If the pipeline contractor is continuously violating the law I would start looking for the politicians who are behind the operation with there pockets getting filled. But then again, it could be all their violations were because of Obama’s anti-pipeline EPA agents nit-picking and even planting equipment oil on the right-of-way etc.
      FYI, The pipe that was shown in the pictures had no gas in it; It will be buried before any gas goes into it. When it’s above ground it’s being put together and welded, then the coating crew coats the sections of pipe where the welds are and any repairs along the length of the line, then it’s lowered in and buried. Then it’s hydro-tested (pressure tested with water) to make sure it will hold several times more pressure than will be allowed in the pipeline. Then gas will be run through the line to all the houses the protesters live in and they won’t complain one bit, unless they don’t pay their gas bill and their gas is shut off. But I just bet you the protesters organizers are from somewhere else and came there to incite and maintain the protest. Most the time if the organizers get paid off they leave and go to a different pipeline to protest; it’s a business for them. It’s ALWAYS about the money.

      Monday, 27 February 2017, 6:14 am
      • as i mentioned they are still doing things before its even finalized that are toxic but it is what it is. as you said its all about money for now.

        Monday, 27 February 2017, 8:31 pm
    • Wrong out of your league on this one FOOD.

      Monday, 27 February 2017, 7:04 am
    • we currently have the cleanest water and air you can have. 44% of the worls population live in India amd China and they refuse any of these enviromental concerns. If we stopped using anything, it would change nothing. On another note, this is not oil pr liquid gas, it is natural gas. You know, the kind your spouse despises when you pass it. It is not possible to pollute any body of water. If it springs a leak under water it would be like you farting in a bath tub. Iy would bubble up and be gone unless some moron like this shooter got on top of it with a lighter. Then it would just burn. Before you protest against natural gas that will fuel the new power plant, please turn off your electricity and internet first so you can be true to your cause.

      Monday, 27 February 2017, 9:00 am
      • this is the level of intelligence our general society has. fracking is not the same as farting. this is a topic way out of your competency level. do some research before you start mashing the smh.

        Monday, 27 February 2017, 8:35 pm
    • Id like to know where you get your information cause you are so far from right. Do you believe everything you read? If so please note im a pipeline wife. My husband works on this exact crew this nut case went and shot up. We will be more than glad to let you come out and sit and watch our husband’s. You can help make sure they make it home to us every night since they obviously cant do anything without being threatened by your local idiots . They are doing a job .

      Monday, 27 February 2017, 10:19 am
      • Amen sister!

        Monday, 27 February 2017, 6:50 pm
        • i understand its your loved ones out there at risk and its scary.. the shooter made a terrible decision, but to think as general laborers they have complete access to all and any matters for the company in every aspect is a complete delusion. they go to the site and work and get paid. I highly doubt they get involved in any legal matter or politics.

          Monday, 27 February 2017, 8:45 pm
      • as i said the guy was in the wrong. you must of skimmed over that part.. but aside from that the fact that the company has been fined and you are in denial is such. i get it. the job puts food on the table gas in the car sends the kids to college etc but you are living in denial about environmental impact. the companies issues have been well documented and im sure more than likely a general laborer for this company he is not privy to every single legal or financial matter the company gets involved in but if you believe that than so be it.

        Monday, 27 February 2017, 8:42 pm
  • Was the pipeline really worth his life?

    Sunday, 26 February 2017, 3:11 pm
    • Yes ,yes it was.

      Sunday, 26 February 2017, 5:29 pm
    • Well let’s see? One life vs. a whole community if he would have blown up the pipeline. Yes I do believe one life was worth the pipeline and community. Bet if it was your community you would agree.

      Sunday, 26 February 2017, 8:15 pm
      • My comment was meant for the guy with the gun. Not the cops that shot him. Would of done the same and shot him.

        Monday, 27 February 2017, 7:18 am
      • So HAPPY we don’t have to go along with aYOUR beliefs. They’re still building the pipeline, even if ya went at it with a blotourch ya just get a hole,(no kaboom) that can be welded closed. So… I don’t think that shooting the idiot for going after the pipe was too cool. However, when he shot at the cops I KNOW I WOULD SHOOT BACK and ya never shoot to wound.

        Monday, 27 February 2017, 9:12 am
      • Pipeline is under construction and incomplete period it’s in pieces. It will not be functional and operational for at least a year. No danger to the community at all.

        Monday, 27 February 2017, 9:41 am
  • Hey Tom Lemons, did a Trooper shoot the bad guy or Citrus SO? I’m hearing FHP pitted the guy and shit him… Can you find out?

    Sunday, 26 February 2017, 1:55 pm
      • Contact Sgt Steve Gaskins with FHP and ask him.. FHP pitted the guy and FHP shot him. Tpr Dolan shot him.

        Sunday, 26 February 2017, 2:49 pm
      • If both agencies shot, it will probably take an autopsy to see who won.

        Monday, 27 February 2017, 8:51 am
  • Great job officers. The world is a safer place without people that look to do harm to personal and public places. And he will say some stupid reason that in his twisted mind makes it ok for him to do these destructive acts. God bless our officers.

    Sunday, 26 February 2017, 1:06 pm
  • Wow! Saw all of the emergency vehicles this morning and I hoped you’d have information on this when I got home–and you do. Thanks!

    Sunday, 26 February 2017, 1:02 pm
  • Thank you to all leo involved. It’s one thing to protest another to endanger entire neighborhoods & peoples lives. Shame it ended the way it did & officers must go through investigation, but we won’t have to feed/house/clothe the shooter or suffer thru a trial & too many appeals.

    Sunday, 26 February 2017, 12:58 pm
  • Well There is a Good Protester! End Of Story A**HOLE! Good Job CCSO. Thank You. NEXT : )

    Sunday, 26 February 2017, 12:53 pm

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