Man hospitalized after exchanging gunfire with authorities

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) announced that a man was shot after exchanging gunfire with deputies Monday, but authorities do not know whether the injury may have been self-inflicted. 

According to a CCSO report, deputies responded to a dispute at a location near NE Thomas Camp Rd, which is northeast of Lake City, and found an armed male walking in the road.

“Upon making initial contact, the subject began pointing the gun at his head, and at deputies,” the CCSO said. “At some point during the interaction, the subject fired shots at deputies and gunfire was returned.”

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After the man fled into the woods, multiple law enforcement agencies established a perimeter to contain the man and try to negotiate a peaceful resolution, the CCSO said. 

“After negotiations deteriorated, and being concerned that the subject may be injured from the previous exchange, the decision was made to expedite apprehending the subject,” the CCSO said, without providing details of exactly how the man was neutralized. “Upon taking the subject into custody, it was learned that the subject had a gunshot wound but was still alive.”

Authorities provided first aid until the man was transported to the hospital. The CCSO said it is unsure whether the gunshot would was the result of a deputy’s weapon or if it was a self-inflicted wound. 

“I am very proud of our deputies and the way they handled this situation,” Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter said in a statement. “Without proper training and the professionalism of our deputies, this situation could have been more severe. I want to thank the Florida Highway Patrol, Department of Agriculture, Florida Wildlife Commission, Columbia County Fire Rescue, and Century Ambulance for assisting us.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting an investigation of the incident. The CCSO said it would conduct its own internal review and release more information as it’s available. 

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