Sovereign citizen wanted for fatal shooting finally apprehended in Florida

A fugitive sovereign citizen wanted by South Carolina authorities for his reported involvement in a fatal shooting in Sumter was apprehended August 15 by the U.S. Marshals Service in Jacksonville, Florida.

A week earlier, Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis reported that Brown was possibly located in Jackson County, Georgia, but Brown managed to elude law enforcement efforts to capture him. Now in custody, Brown has been extradited back to South Carolina.

The events unfolded on Saturday, August 11, when Sumter County Sheriff’s deputies went to the Auto Doctors (a vehicle repair and body shop in Sumter, South Carolina) in response to reports about a shooting. When deputies arrived, they found a man, later identified as 34-year-old Sharmine Pack, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Pack was immediately transported to a local hospital, where he later died.

According to investigators, the shooting may have stemmed from an ongoing feud over a vehicle sale involving Pack and Demetrius Alexander Brown, the alleged shooter. Witnesses reported seeing Brown arrive at the auto business in his vehicle, get out of his car and immediately shoot Pack. There was no yelling or physical altercation prior to the gunshots, witnesses said. Afterwards, Brown reportedly fled the scene in his vehicle at a high rate of speed.

“What’s most disturbing about this incident is that when he shot the victim, and the victim fell, he stood over the victim and shot several more times to make sure that he killed the victim,” said one witness.

Upon learning of Brown’s possible involvement in the shooting, authorities released an urgent bulletin concerning his whereabouts, describing him as “ armed and dangerous .” Of further interest, Brown has a lengthy criminal history in Sumter County including multiple arrests and convictions for burglary and financial crimes, according to media sources.

Law enforcement officials in Sumter and Lee counties also said they are familiar with Brown. They describe him as a Moorish sovereign citizen.

Moorish sovereigns believe they are immune to local, state and federal laws as well as government authority in general. The Sumter shooting is the latest in a string of fatal shootings linked to Moorish sovereign citizens in recent months. As a result of their extremist beliefs toward government authority, Moorish sovereigns are known to attack law enforcement as well as engage in a wide range of white-collar crimes, such as filing bogus liens, tax fraud and other financial scams — often referred to as “paper terrorism.” Whether Brown’s sovereign extremist ideology played a direct role in the fatal shooting is not currently known. Sovereign citizen extremist beliefs have been known to provide justification for adherents to use violence as a viable tool to avenge personal grievances and retaliate against perceived enemies.

To date, Brown, 38, has been charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and unlawful possession of a weapon stemming from the shooting incident. More recently, he faces two additional counts of forgery in the amount of $10,000 or more, according to a spokesperson with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. Additional charges may be forthcoming. Brown’s request for bail was denied by the court.

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