TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) – A man who set his house on fire and ambushed responding police officers held “anti-government, anti-establishment” views and had previously 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 gun battle outside his home.
At a news conference Sunday, sheriff’s Lt James McQuaig wouldn’t 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 neighbourhood 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 bullet-proof 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.