Police kill man reportedly seen shooting at gas pipeline

Deputies at the scene of a crash on U.S. Highway 41, south of Floral Park Drive, Floral City, after which the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office says a male suspect was fatally shot by officers, Feb. 26, 2017.

Citrus County Sheriff

Police in Citrus County, Florida said Sunday that a man reportedly seen shooting at a natural gas pipeline had been fatally shot by officers after a vehicle chase.

Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast was quoted in a statement on his office’s Facebook page as saying no police were injured. He said officers from Citrus County, Marion County and the Florida Highway Patrol were involved. The chase began in Marion County and ended with a “crash” near Floral City in Citrus County, according to the statement.

“This is where the suspect engaged the deputies and was subsequently shot and killed,” it 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,” Prendergast was quoted as saying.

The sheriff’s office did not identify the slain man, pending notification of his next of kin, nor the officers involved in the shooting, who were to be “placed on administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement actively investigates this incident.”  

The initial call to police came into Marion County, where, according to the statement, witnesses said a man was shooting at the Sabal Pipeline natural gas pipeline and associated equipment, with what they believed to be a “high power rifle.”