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Everglades Shooter, Who Fired Shots At Park Rangers, Arrested

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A man who fired shots at rangers in the Everglades National Park in Florida was arrested on Sunday evening.

A press release from the national park said the suspect, a 33-year-old white male, fired shots at law enforcement rangers along the main park road on State Road 9336, approximately 20 miles from the Homestead entrance at 6.45 p.m. on Sunday. There were no injuries from the shootout.

Officials said the shooting appeared unprovoked. After federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies carried out a joint response, the suspect surrendered and was taken into custody at 8:59 p.m.

“Earlier in the day, two park rangers responded to a domestic violence investigation at Mahogany Hammock, involving the same suspect. When the rangers arrived, the suspect had left the scene in his vehicle and was believed to be headed south toward Flamingo,” the statement said.

“At 5:52 p.m., rangers located the empty vehicle on the main park road, just south of Paurotis Pond. Given the evidence found on scene, the rangers suspected that the subject had fled into the woods and was armed.”

The park and the Miami-Dade Police Department closed the Homestead entrance to the park on State Road 9336. State Road 9336 remains closed from the park entrance to Flamingo at this time.

In the statement, the park thanked Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their assistance in the investigation.

The Everglades National Park accounts for 1.5 million acres of tropical wilderness in South Florida and is home to a number of rare species of animal, including alligators, crocodiles and pythons. It draws around 1 million visitors a year, according to the National Park Foundation.

There was another shooting in that region of south Florida on February 2. Two FBI agents were killed and three were wounded after a standoff with a shooter close to the Everglades Park.

The FBI agents had come to an apartment complex in a middle-class neighborhood of single-family homes, duplexes and apartment buildings located west of Fort Lauderdale, to serve a federal search warrant in connection with a case involving violent crimes against children.

The gunfire erupted with about four shots from a shooter who was barricaded in an apartment. Local residents were told by law enforcement to stay in their homes to avoid gunfire.

Although the shooter later died, the confrontation in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Sunrise marked one of the deadliest days in FBI history.

This photo shows a view from the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park in Homestead, Florida, on January 16, 2019. A man who fired shots at rangers in the park was arrested on Sunday evening.
Leila Macor/Getty

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