At approximately midnight Sunday, Citrus County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the parking lot of LKQ just off County Road 486 in Crystal River, in regard to an armed man who was threatening suicide and refusing to get out of his vehicle.
Security guards within LQK, which was closed at the time, say 41-year-old Kevin Cupit from Crystal River, became agitated when they asked why he was parked outside their gates.
In the hour that followed, deputies tried to calmly talk with Cupit and get him to put the gun down, but he refused. The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and Crisis Negotiation Team were then activated to the scene. The Florida Highway Patrol and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was also on scene. Due to our concerns for the safety of our citizens, patrol shut down a main thoroughfare to traffic in the area. Westbound lanes of 486 at the intersection of 491/486 and all Eastbound lanes of 486 at the Pine Ridge entrance were closed.
After several unsuccessful attempts to get Cupit to respond, SWAT Team members used CS tear gas to force Cupit from the truck. Just after 7 a.m, Cupit darted out of his truck to escape the gas and ran from deputies. Cupit was subsequently tased and taken into custody without further incident. He was then taken a local hospital to be medically evaluated. Once Cupit was in custody, all lanes of CR 486 were open.
“I am so proud of the men and women who work for my agency. From our 9-1-1 communications officers, patrol deputies to our SWAT team and Crisis Negotiation Team members, they are all true professionals when it comes to dealing with people who are in crisis,” says Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “Thankfully, this situation ended successfully without any injuries to our team and the suspect was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.”
We also would like to thank the Florida Highway Patrol and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team for their assistance in this incident.
No charges have been filed at this time.