Sabal Pipeline shooter killed by law enforcement in Citrus County

Officials said the incident started around 9 a.m. when the suspect was shooting a high-powered rifle at the Sabal Trail Pipeline and pipeline equipment in Marion County.

Around 9 a.m., reports came in to the Marion County Sheriff's Office that a suspect was using a high-power rifle to shoot at the Sabal Trail pipeline, a three-state, 515-mile natural gas pipe project that has brought protestors who say the pipeline is unsafe for waterways, in the 12500 block of State Road 200.

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Citrus County deputies and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper shot and killed the man in self defense, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The office says the pipeline, which will transport natural gas from Alabama to Florida, was damaged extensively. The suspect was involved in a crash on the side of the road adjacent to the Floral City Park. The project, under construction, is a joint venture of Spectra Energy Partners, NextEra Energy, Inc., and Duke Energy, according to the Sabal Trail Transmission website.

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The Florida Department of Law Enforcement continues to investigate the shooting. Last week, two protesters were arrested in Marion County after crawling into the pipeline.

Troopers and deputies returned fire and killed the suspect.

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The man fled, driving into neighboring Citrus County. When the truck came to a stop, the man shot at officers, deputies said.

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