Archive

Florida man who ambushed police held anti-government beliefs | TribLIVE.com
News

Florida man who ambushed police held anti-government beliefs

The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE — A man who set his house on fire and ambushed responding police officers held “anti-government, anti-establishment” views and had threatened law enforcement, authorities said Sunday.

The gunman was identified as 53-year-old Curtis Wade Holley. Authorities said he fatally shot Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Smith, 47, on Saturday and wounded another deputy before he was killed in a gunbattle outside his home.

At a news conference Sunday, sheriff’s Lt. James McQuaig would not detail the nature of the previous threats or Holley’s anti-government beliefs.

Holley had lived at the end of a cul-de-sac in a middle-class neighborhood for about a year, McQuaig said.

Smith was the first Leon County Sheriff’s Office employee to be killed in the line of duty in nearly 40 years, according to the department. The deputy who was wounded was shot while telling firefighters to stay away. Because he was wearing a bulletproof vest, his injuries were not life-threatening.

No one was hurt in the fire.

Two Tallahassee police officers also responded to the shooting, including one who lived nearby and fatally shot Holley.

“Our responders yesterday were targeted for no other reason than they chose to spend their lives helping people,” said Tallahassee police Chief Michael DeLeo. “There is no doubt that the actions of our deputies and officers prevented additional loss of life.”

McQuaig said it appeared the fire had been burning for a while before authorities arrived because they did not receive the 911 call until flames were visible from the outside. The house was destroyed.

Holley’s name and address had been entered into a law enforcement computer system because of his previous threats, but the 911 dispatcher who took the fire call put in the address of a neighbor who reported the blaze, so the alert was not activated and the Leon County deputy who responded first had no warning, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.