Sheriff: Gunman fatally shot, 2 wounded near barn fire

Florida sheriff’s deputies opened fire, fatally shooting an armed man who had wounded two people and set fire to a barn before barricading himself inside a house, authorities said Saturday.


The dead gunman was identified as 64-year-old Steve John Roosa, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The deputies involved in the shooting were members of the agency’s SWAT team but were not identified by name.

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies and firefighters were originally called to a residence Friday afternoon near Brooksville by neighbors who saw smoke from a fire in a barn at the rear of the property.

Soon, more 911 calls came in reporting that someone was firing shots at the property and that two people had been struck.

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One victim, a female, was able to get away from the home on her own and into a waiting ambulance. The second victim, a male, was lying on the property but deputies were unable to immediately get to him because Roosa was continuing to fire shots. Eventually the man was rescued and taken to a hospital.

Meanwhile, the sheriff’s office said Roosa barricaded himself in the house and refused all communication. The SWAT team ultimately “breached the residence and deployed chemical agents,” the news release said. Roosa came out the front door — still armed — and deputies opened fire, fatally shooting him.

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The female victim was treated and released at a local hospital. The male victim was hospitalized Saturday in critical condition, the sheriff’s office said. Their identities were not made public, nor their relationship if any to Roosa. No deputies were injured.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the circumstances of the shooting.

Brooksville is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Tampa.

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