MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A man living in a camp on another’s property near Dunnellon was hospitalized after being shot Wednesday by Marion County deputies who he allegedly threatened with a revolver.
The shooting occurred around 9:30 a.m. in the 10500 block of S. Highway 41, playing out on a parcel that the sheriff’s office referred to in a probable cause affidavit as “Gissy Warm Springs Ranch.” The man living in the woods there — identified as Michael Peltier, 59 — was being told to exit the property, marking his second such interaction with Marion County deputies after he was trespassed Sept. 11, the affidavit states. During the previous interaction, Peltier was reportedly informed that if he did not vacate the lot and was found with a firearm that the property manager advised deputies be aware of, he would be charged with armed trespassing.
Three deputies and a detective approached the camp Wednesday morning, located about 20 yards into the wood line. The encampment consisted mainly of a tent and a table surrounded by a chicken wire-like fence that was tied to several tarps, deputies said.
Peltier refused to leave the camp and was observed to be wearing a holstered gun, deputies said. He was told by a deputy to keep his hands up and to not reach for the gun, according to the affidavit. As another deputy briefly walked off to retrieve a multitool for cutting the fence, one who stayed behind could soon be heard saying, “Gun, gun, gun,” and several shots were fired by the two deputies and detective still at the camp, the affidavit states.
Internal review of body-worn camera footage at the camp allegedly shows Peltier reach across his body with his right hand to retrieve the revolver, which had been holstered on his left hip in a cross-draw style, deputies said. The “gun” announcement and subsequent shooting of Peltier would occur upon a deputy’s purported confirmation that “something (now) in the defendant’s hand” was in fact the firearm. The detective reported that Peltier pointed this gun at one of the deputies.
According to the affidavit, probable cause was found for Peltier’s arrest on charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, trespassing while armed and resisting or opposing an officer by offering to commit violence. His bond is set at $12,000.
During Peltier’s interactions with the deputies before being shot, he reportedly became agitated and started yelling as law enforcement drew closer, allegedly ranting about a top-secret clearance and saying he would not leave the camp without a state representative. Afterward, having suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to his extremities, Peltier reportedly requested a Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) lawyer.
The revolver was found on the ground with its hammer cocked back, according to the report.
The law enforcement officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave, per sheriff’s office policy. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating.
News 6 is working to obtain the body-worn camera footage being referenced in the affidavit.
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