Weirsdale man arrested in fatal shooting of retired Citrus County deputy

Victim identified as 52-year-old Steven Smolensky

Steven Swearingen was arrested Tuesday. (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

WEIRSDALE, Fla. – A Weirsdale man was arrested Tuesday following the fatal shooting of a retired Citrus County deputy, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Steven Swearingen, 38, is accused of shooting and killing 52-year-old Steven Smolensky, an arrest report shows.

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The sheriff’s office said around 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday deputies responded to a report of a verbal disturbance on SE 180th Street.

According to the arrest report, Smolensky had called 911 after he showed up at a residence to deliver propane and was then held at gunpoint.

During the 911 call, operators heard the victim saying he was shot, followed by the sound of subsequent gunshots.

Deputies said when they got there they found Smolensky with a gunshot wound and he died from his injuries at the scene.

Swearingen told authorities he shot Smolensky “four or five times” after he believed the victim was “going to try and fill the house with propane,” the report continues.

Investigators said everyone involved in the incident has been accounted for and there is believed to be no further threat to the community.

According to deputies, Swearingen has an extensive criminal history, which includes violence toward law enforcement.

Swearingen was booked in Marion County Jail, where he is being held without bond.


About the Authors:

Jon is a Web Producer for ClickOrlando and has been with News 6 since March 2019.

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.