Armed suspect shot by Florida deputies after pursuit, crash in Marion County: Sheriff's Office

A suspect armed with a rifle was shot by Citrus County sheriff's deputies following a pursuit that ended in Marion County, according to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office (CCSO).

The CCSO said deputies attempted a traffic stop on a Mitsubishi SUV in Hernando and when the driver failed to stop, a pursuit ensued. Deputies said they deployed a tire deflation device at one point but were unsuccessful. 

After a second attempt, the SUV slowed down, but the driver continued into Marion County along Highway 200 near Ocala, where Marion County sheriff's deputies joined in the pursuit. The deputies used a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT), which caused the SUV to crash into a power pole.


Deputies said the suspect got out of the SUV and was holding a rifle which they believed posed a threat to the deputies. Citrus County sheriff's deputies drew their firearms and shot the suspect, who was then transported to a hospital. 


Credit: Marion County Sheriffs Office

"The suspect in this incident posed a significant threat to two communities today through his reckless actions. At the end of the day, the deputies on scene had only seconds to decide how to respond to protect every citizen in the area before the suspect decided to further endanger the lives of both law enforcement officers and civilians present," said Col. Elena Vitt with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office.

As with all shootings involving law enforcement officers, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) will be investigating along with the Marion County Sheriff's Office. 

Authorities are asking all residents to avoid the area while they continue their investigation at the scene. The condition of the suspect was not immediately known.