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State park showdown


Horatio's sunglasses and witty quips were not involved.

Gazette staff May 11th, 2011

On May 4, FBI agents at Glass Mountain State Park in Major County gunned down a Florida man wanted in connection with a mosque bombing.

The man, Sandlin Matthews Smith, 46, of St. Johns County, Fla., allegedly was involved in setting off a pipe bomb at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in May 2010, and had been tracked to northwest Oklahoma by the FBI. No one was hurt in the blast.

According to The Associated Press, Smith had pulled a weapon on his niece and had become increasingly paranoid, believing almost everyone was a law enforcement agent, and told her “he was angry about our men going overseas, fighting and dying” and wanted “to make a statement to show Muslims they were vulnerable.”

The criminal affidavit states Smith’s father told law enforcement that Smith had an unlicensed fully automatic AK-47, and that he was concerned that his son would have a violent encounter with police, according to AP.

After learning Smith had been in contact with acquaintances from Texas and Oklahoma, the FBI was able to track him to Glass Mountain State Park, where, when approached by agents, Smith pulled his AK-47 and agents opened fire, killing him, according to the AP.

Smith’s wife, who had become separated from him shortly before the bombing incident, told agents his personality had began to alter after becoming addicted to painkillers, which he took for pain when he broke both of his legs after falling from a tree, according to the story.

 
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