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Deputies shoot, kill man who opened fire on them with rifle, authorities say

Sheriff's Office: Man was off his medication, deputies took cover behind bus

STARKE, Fla. – A man who authorities said was off his medication was shot and killed Sunday morning by deputies after he opened fire on them with a rifle, according to the Bradford County Sheriff's Office

Deputies responded to a home on NW 216th Street in Lawtey after a call reporting a man who was not taking his medication had become aggressive and gone to his shed, where there was a firearm, the Sheriff's Office said.

According to deputies, when they arrived at the home, Anthony Lee Hodges, 39, came out of the shed firing shots at them from a rifle. Deputies retreated behind a school bus that was on the property because a woman who lives at the home is a bus driver and is able to take the vehicle home.

Hodges continued firing shots and deputies returned fire, hitting Hodges, according to the Sheriff's Office. Paramedics arrived and transported Hodges to a hospital, where he died.

"I spoke with the family at length upon my arrival. I know them well," Sheriff Gordon Smith said. "My mother was a bus driver for 40 years. One of the ladies who lives here is a bus driver. They're heartbroken. They're sad. The first thing they said was 'We're glad none of the deputies were hurt.'" 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has taken over the investigation.