Man accused of shooting at Marion County detective turns himself in, deputies say

Nathaniel James Woodruff surrendered Friday morning

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A man now faces charges for two shootings in Marion County that happened days apart.

Deputies said Nathaniel James Woodruff went to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Main Operations building in Ocala Friday morning to surrender himself.

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Following his surrender, the sheriff’s office released a video showing the 20-year-old in handcuffs.

Investigators had been looking for Woodruff since Sunday, following a shooting near Northwest 110th Avenue and West Highway 40, according to a news release.

“The pressure was really on him. The whole community was out there looking for him,” Marion County Sgt. Paul Bloom said.

Deputies said a person was shot after driving away from a gas station in that area. The victims, two brothers, told investigators they realized they were being followed and heard shots when they turned into a neighborhood, records show. Deputies said their car was hit at least twice.

One of the victims realized they had been hit and was taken to the hospital after getting to a safe location, according to a release. That person was found to have a bullet lodged in their spine and they remain in the hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.

As detectives were investigating that incident, they said they saw Woodruff in surveillance video, sitting in the passenger seat of a silver BMW that followed those victims as they left the gas station.

On Tuesday, a detective attempted to stop the silver BMW because of the shooting on Sunday but records show the driver sped off and Woodruff leaned out the passenger’s side window and fired two to three shots at the detective. The detective was not hurt.

“We were definitely after [Woodruff] to see what the length of his involvement was with this violent crime,” Bloom said.

According to Bloom, the incidents sparked a massive manhunt.

“To us, he’s capable of anything, so if you’re willing to do that, this is somebody that we absolutely pour all of our resources into to get you off the streets,” Bloom said.

Before Woodruff turned himself in, MCSO posted on Facebook: “We need your help getting this violent individual off the streets.”

The sheriff’s office again posted on Facebook Wednesday afternoon, with the sheriff saying he needs “all eyes in Marion County looking for this individual. Because this piece of crap took a shot at one of my deputies,” Sheriff Billy Woods said.

Officials said the county is safer with Woodruff behind bars.

“We feel like tonight, this weekend Marion County is just a little bit safer because of this,” Bloom said.

Investigators have not identified the driver of the BMW involved in these shootings or said what kind of charges they may be facing.

Nathanial Woodruff (WKMG)

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