A Florida man who fired more than 50 rounds at police officers and now is charged with 10 counts of attempted murder had neo-Nazi literature and a stockpile of firearms and ammunition in his home, authorities say.
No officers were injured during last weekend’s SWAT encounter that began when they went to a home near Williston, Fla., looking for Dustin Harold Heathman, who had been sought on multiple arrest warrants.
As SWAT officers approached the home on Sunday, a woman inside took off running and Heathman opened fire, hitting a SWAT vehicle several times, WESH-TV in Orlando reported.
Heathman then turned his automatic weapon toward other SWAT officers who were approaching the home, according to the news report.
During an exchange of gunfire, Heathman was hit with glass fragments, but his injuries weren’t life-threatening, authorities said. After making antigovenment statements and suggesting he wanted to die, he was booked into the Marion County Jail.
Investigators have not released the list of items seized during a search of the home, but confirmed to Hatewatch today that neo-Nazi and white supremacist items were found, along with a cache of weapons and ammunition.
“We don’t know at this point exactly what his affiliations were,” Capt. James Pogue, the department’s public information chief, said today when reached for comment.
After his arrest, Marion County sheriff’s officials said Heathman reportedly made suicidal comments and he expressed antigovernment views similar to those of a sovereign citizen.
“His statement was that he was anti-government,” Marion County Major Tommy Bibb told WJCB-TV in Ocala.
“He did not want to let anyone come and arrest him,” Bibb told the television station. “His initial [plan] was to shoot as many officers as he could and then die by suicide by cop.”
Public records show Heathman has convictions in Palm Beach, Fla., for robbery, burglary, possessing a destructive device, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, attempting to elude officers and motor vehicle theft.
As a felon, he wouldn’t have been able to legally possess firearms. Federal authorities now are considering whether to file federal firearms charges in addition to the state attempted murder charges.