January 26, 2017
On January 26, 2017 at 0905 the Levy County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center received a call and subsequent BOLO from the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office. 911 operators from the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office told the LCSO their deputies were responding to a reported carjacking in Old Town. Dixie County operators told the LCSO the stolen vehicle was a black truck pulling a camper. Dixie County also told the LCSO the suspect was armed with a handgun.
At 0912 hours the Levy County Sheriff’s 911 Center received simultaneous calls from a bystander and a victim at the Waco 6 Citgo gas station located at 8731 NW 174 Street in Fanning Springs. Both reported an armed man had just carjacked a gold Chevrolet truck. They told 911 operators the carjacked vehicle was fleeing south on US Hwy 19 from the store.
Deputy Nelson Macias was pulling into the gas station as this report was being made and the dispatch call was being broadcast. The victim pointed at the vehicle departing the parking lot and Deputy Macias gave pursuit.
Additional units were notified of the pursuit as well as the Chiefland Police Department (CPD). The pursuit continued south on US 19 and into the City of Chiefland. CPD units deployed “Stop-Sticks” which are utilized to deflate the suspect vehicle tires. However, the still unidentified driver was able to avoid the CPD officer’s efforts.
LCSO Deputies now accompanied by CPD Officers continued to pursue the vehicle south on US 19 at speeds reaching 100 MPH. LCSO Deputies deployed stop sticks at the intersection of US 19 and SR 24 in Otter Creek which the driver was able to evade. Stop sticks were again deployed at the intersection of US 19 and CR 326 in Gulf Hammock and again the driver was able to evade them.
Approximately one mile south of Gulf Hammock, LCSO Lt. Jimmy Anderson, who was driving the primary pursuit vehicle, took evasive actions as the suspect driver abruptly locked up his brakes. Lt. Anderson stated the suspect vehicle abruptly locked up the brakes a second time and lost control of the vehicle. Lt. Anderson, who was in the outside south bound lane on US 19 said the vehicle rotated clockwise and entered his lane of travel from the inside lane. Lt. Anderson’s vehicle stuck the suspect’s vehicle in the passenger door and both vehicles slid off the south shoulder. Chief Scott Anderson, Chief of Police for CPD, had to take evasive actions to avoid crashing into both Lt. Anderson’s vehicle and the suspect’s vehicle. Chief Anderson’s vehicle slid to a stop on the south shoulder and struck a tree.
Both Chief Anderson and Lt. Anderson quickly exited their vehicle and both reported hearing a gunshot. Chief Anderson was able to move into a position and observed the driver of the suspect vehicle suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The suspect did not have identification and has not been identified at this time. The Levy County Department of Public Safety (LCDPS) responded to the scene and transported the suspect to a landing zone where ShandsCair flew the subject for emergency treatment at Shands at UF.
One LCSO vehicle was damaged in the pursuit and one CPD vehicle was damaged. No injuries to any LCSO deputies were reported. However, the Chiefland Chief of Police Scott Anderson sustained minor injuries and was treated by LCDPS at the scene. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) responded to the crash scene to conduct the crash investigation.