An apparent environmental terrorist opened fire at a natural gas pipeline and heavy equipment in Florida yesterday before leading police on a chase that ended in his death.
A man accused of using a high-powered rifle to shoot at the controversial Sabal Pipeline Sunday was killed after a car chase and confrontation with authorities, according to Marion County officials.
The incident started about 9 a.m. when deputies were called about a man using a rifle to shoot at the under-construction pipeline and nearby equipment in Dennellon.
When deputies responded, the suspect fled.
He continued driving southwest into Citrus County so deputies from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office along with troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol were called to help in the chase.
A trooper used a “precision immobilization technique” to stop him, which led to the suspect crashing on U.S. Highway 41 south of Floral Park Drive, ending the 25-mile chase, according to highway-patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins
When the suspect got out of his truck, he had the rifle in hand, Gaskins said.
That’s when deputies and a trooper opened fire, killing him.
It’s unclear if the suspect pointed the gun at authorities but he did not fire, Gaskins said.
Neither deputies or the trooper, a four-year FHP veteran, were injured.
— Sgt. Steve Gaskins (@SteveG717) February 26, 2017
Environmental terrorists tend to be full of “the feels,” but incredibly moronic when it comes to carrying out attacks. This incident is no different. While the dead man may have managed in ricocheting a few rounds off the pipeline, I rather strongly doubt he managed to penetrate the pipe. Even if he did manage a few small holes it’s probably something a welder can fix in minutes. It’s also probable that he fired upon the construction equipment completely at random, without targeting or hitting anything of vital importance except perhaps by accident.
A passenger in a trailing vehicle filmed part of the gunfight that erupted after the trooper successfully implemented a PIT, and ran the suspect off the road. WFTV claims that after he was forced off the road, the man did open fire on the trooper and deputies involved in the case before he was shot and killed in a barrage of gunfire. All we can confirm is that law enforcement saw a weapon presented after the chase, and then opened fire.
It’s difficult to tell from the photos of the scene precisely how the shooting went down, but it had to have been terrifying for the state trooper who spun the man out, as he was at least momentarily trapped in the “no man’s land” between the suspect and the deputies behind him who appear to have put dozens of rounds into the suspect’s vehicle around him. It is not uncommon at all for officers closer to the suspect to get hit by fellow LEOs shooting from behind them, and video is all over the internet of different incidents where officers are seen stepping in front of another officer’s weapon as they engage with or rush in on a suspect.
Other Sabal Pipeline protestors said yesterday that they don’t know the shooter, an interesting claim since authorities haven’t released the name of the deceased suspect.