A Sabal Trail pipeline protester is dead following a chase that began in Marion County and ended in Citrus County.
Citrus County deputies are currently on scene at a crash site on U.S. Highway 41, just south of Floral Park Drive, Floral City.
At approximately 9 a.m., the Marion County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a person who was shooting at Sabal Trail pipeline equipment as well as the pipeline, located on Highway 200.
The caller stated that the shooter was using a high-powered rifle.
Officials said the shooter fled the scene, at which time a high speed chase began and led into Citrus County.
Citrus County, Marion County, and the Florida Highway Patrol were involved in the pursuit.
According to reports, the suspect crashed along the road adjacent to Floral City Park.
Citrus County officials sad that the suspect engaged deputies and that the suspect was shot and killed.
Officials did not go into detail as to how the suspect engaged the deputies, but did say he was armed.
The suspect’s name has not been released at this time.
All deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation.
Citrus County 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.”
Last week Marion County deputies arrested two protesters who climbed into the pipeline and had to be removed by the fire department.
More details will be released as they come in.