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Monday, December 11, 2023

Armed trespassing suspect shot by Marion deputies

A 59-year-old trespassing suspect who was openly carrying a revolver was shot by Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies after he allegedly pointed his firearm at them.

On Wednesday, September 20, deputies responded to the 10500 block of Highway 41, just north of Dunnellon, to follow up on a trespassing complaint. Upon arrival, they located a man on the property who was violating a previous trespass warning that had been issued three days earlier, according to the MCSO report.

Deputy involved shooting near Dunnellon on September 20, 2023
MCSO deputies and detectives at the scene of the deputy-involved shooting on September 20, 2023 (Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

The sheriff’s office identified the man as Scott Michael Peltier.

According to the MCSO report, Peltier had set up a camp in the woods at the incident location. This camp consisted of “chicken wire like fencing” that surrounded several trees encompassing a tent and table. The fence had tarps attached to it, which were zipped together.

When deputies made contact with Peltier, they immediately observed that he was carrying a firearm in a holster on his hip. The MCSO report stated that Peltier refused verbal commands to exit the property, and he became “verbally irate” with the deputies.

After being warned multiple times to “keep his hands up and away” from his firearm, Peltier refused, and he allegedly drew the firearm and pointed it at the deputies. According to the sheriff’s office, this placed the deputies in fear for their own safety, and they proceeded to shoot Peltier.

During the incident, Peltier sustained non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

The MCSO report stated that a revolver was found on the ground a short distance from Peltier’s right arm, and the hammer on the firearm was “cocked back” and therefore ready to be fired.

After being read his Miranda rights, Peltier spoke with investigators and “referenced Army intelligence and terrorist(s)” throughout the recorded interview. He stated that the law enforcement officers at the scene were “professional,” though he added that he “would not open his property with the presence of Army intelligence,” according to the MCSO report.

During the post-Miranda interview, Peltier denied pulling his firearm from his holster, and he stated that he “jumped down” when he heard gunshots, which caused his revolver to “fall out” of the holster. He advised that he became upset when deputies started to “open his fencing,” and he concluded the interview by stating that he needed a “JAG lawyer.”

Peltier was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. He is being charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, trespassing while armed, and resisting or opposing an officer with violence. His bond has been set at $12,000.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement on Thursday regarding the deputies who were involved in the shooting:

“As is standard in deputy-involved shootings, the deputies involved in the incident have been placed on paid, administrative leave per MCSO policy. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is also investigating the incident. The deputies, who as the apparent victims of a criminal offense have invoked the protection of Marsy’s Law, are not being identified at this time.”

As of 2 p.m. on Thursday, a booking photo of Peltier was not yet available.