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Retired sheriff's deputy shot and killed in Florida, suspect arrested

Source: Marion County Sheriff's Office, Unsplash

Dec. 1 2021, Published 4:11 p.m. ET

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A retired Citrus County, Florida sheriff's deputy was murdered this week. Now, cops say they have arrested the man who shot and killed the former officer.

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Retired deputy Steven Smolensky, 52, was shot and killed near Ocala, Florida, County Sheriff Mike Prendergast told WFLA.

Smolensky retired a few years ago after spending 25 years with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, WFLA reported.

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Detectives have arrested Steven Alan Swearingen, 38, and charged him with second-degree murder in connection with the homicide, according to WFLA.


No motive has been given by police, WFLA reported.

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After retiring from the sheriff’s office, Smolensky went to work for Suburban Propane in Marion County, according to WFLA. The sheriff said Smolensky was shot and killed while delivering propane, WFLA reported.

“One of the most innocent things to do and was providing a service to somebody in the community who’s called and said, hey please come fill my gas tank up. That’s what he was doing and he was confronted by this armed suspect who wasn’t having anything about it,” Prendergast said, according to WFLA.

“He was only 52 years old. 52 years old and to have his life end so tragically like this by someone who murdered him in cold blood. Clearly in cold blood today,” Prendergast told WFLA.


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