Hernando man wanted for sexual attack on child dies in gun battle with cops

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Facing traffic, a bullet-ridden pick-up truck sat on Trillium Boulevard. Nearby, we spotted a rifle on the pavement.

It’s the deadly aftermath of a violent incident that occurred just before 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said his deputies and U.S. Marshals found a wanted man and tried to pull him over.

“There was a minor chase from what I’m told and it ended up behind us here on the entrance road to the Trillium subdivision,” said the sheriff.

That’s where the sheriff believes a gun battle broke out.

“And very preliminary reports are, is that the suspect did fire a weapon, it’s a long gun. I’ve been told it is similar to or actually is an AR-15,” he said.

Deputies and Marshals returned fire, killing the man in his truck.

With the main road closed, cops detoured neighbors in and out of the Trillium neighborhood by directing them through a pasture.

Lines of cars waited for their chance to get in or out in the single-file parade.

“It’s a huge mess. We can’t get in. Can’t get out. I was out there for a long, long period of time trying to get in here. I have to pick up my kids, because we have school in the morning,” said Anthony Payne.

Now comes the long task of determining how this all went down.

The sheriff said it’s lucky no officers were shot.

“I worry [about] them every single day and in situations like this, it’s really by the grace of God that none of them are physically injured,” said Sheriff Nienhuis.

The name of the dead man has not been released.

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