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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Convicted felon arrested at shooting range after pointing rifle at parked vehicle

A 35-year-old convicted felon from Ocklawaha was arrested at a local shooting range after he was accused of pointing a rifle at an occupied vehicle in the parking lot.

On Monday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office corporal responded to the Ocala Shooting Range located at 1501 NE 231st Avenue in Silver Springs in reference to a suspicious man pointing a rifle in the area of people in the nearby parking lot, according to the arrest report.

Prior to the corporal’s arrival, a male witness had informed the sheriff’s office that while he was sitting in his parked car, a man – later identified as Ryan James Murphy – had pointed a rifle at him.

Ryan James Murphy
Ryan James Murphy

The witness advised that Murphy was leaving the parking lot in an SUV, and the corporal spotted the vehicle as it was about to exit the shooting range. The corporal conducted a traffic stop of the SUV and made contact with Murphy, according to the report.

Murphy was the sole occupant of the vehicle, and he told the corporal that he was not “pointing any guns at people.” Murphy claimed that he had been heading to the side to “unload,” and the corporal noted that Murphy then pointed in the direction of the wooded area just north of the shooting range.

While speaking with the corporal, Murphy admitted to possessing several AR-15 rifles that he was unloading, and he advised that the rifles were in the back of his SUV. He claimed that the firearms belonged to his spouse and were not his.

The report stated that a computer check on Murphy’s state-issued identification card revealed that his driver’s license was previously revoked twice, and it was suspended indefinitely in September of 2022.

In addition, a criminal history search of Murphy revealed that he had five prior convictions of driving with a suspended or revoked license and two felony convictions, all in Indian River County.

The corporal obtained dash camera footage from the witness, which showed Murphy standing in the area of the benches behind the firing line at the time of the incident. Murphy appeared to be in possession of a long black rifle with a scope, and he proceeded to point the firearm in the direction of the vehicle that the witness was sitting in, according to the report.

A search of Murphy’s SUV was conducted, and the corporal noted that the following items were found in the trunk: a long rifle that was not secured in a case or bag, and a tan rifle bag containing two rifles, magazines with ammunition loaded in them, and a few boxes of additional rifle ammunition.

Murphy was arrested, transported to Marion County Jail, and he was released the following day on $20,000 bond. He is being charged with possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted Florida felon and driving with a suspended or revoked license (second or subsequent offense).

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.