Around 8:30 am on Saturday morning a Florida state trooper noticed a man laying next to a fence just off highway I-75 in Micanopy, FL. As he approached the man he notice that he was armed and went to take cover.
The gunman then fired 3 rounds, but its unclear if he was aiming at the officer who was uninjured in the incident. Following the shots, the gunman fled the scene.
A manhunt began shortly thereafter with K9s and helicopters combing the area. Highway I-75 was also shutdown.
At about 1pm officers driving Rooks -a vehicle resembling a small piece of construction equipment that offers protection for officers – spotted the man and pinned him in.
An exchange of gunfire followed and the man was shot and killed. It is unclear however if the shot was fired by authorities or by the gunman himself. An upcoming autopsy will answer that question along with whether or not the gunman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The equipment used by the officers, namely Rooks have come under fire by critics who claim them to be military-caliber vehicles unfit for local police. The police themselves disagree.
“You don’t know when you’ll need it, but incidents like this show how valuable it is to be prepared and well-equipped.”Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell said.
From the Gainesville Sun:
A man who fired a gun near a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who had stopped to assist him Saturday morning is dead after an encounter with authorities who were searching for him along Interstate 75 near Micanopy.
By Saturday evening, it was still not certain how the man died.
The incident prompted a massive response from law enforcement from throughout the region and resulted in major traffic issues because both northbound and southbound lanes of I-75 were closed while the search was underway and afterward. By 7 p.m. Saturday, the last of the northbound lanes had been reopened to traffic.