Suspect in Florida highway shooting says God sent her because of eclipse

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Suspect in Florida highway shooting says God sent her because of eclipse

A woman checked out of a Florida hotel on Monday, told staff that she was going on a God-directed shooting spree because of the North American solar eclipse that day, and allegedly shot two drivers on Interstate 10 before being arrested, according to the state’s highway patrol.

Taylon Nichelle Celestine, 22, of Georgia, entered the highway in Bonifay – 115 miles (180km) from the Alabama border in the Florida panhandle region – and headed west. Within five miles (8km), she fired into a passing car several times, shattering windows and grazing the driver in the arm, the department said in a statement.

She then fired at a second vehicle, hitting the driver in the neck. The driver was treated at a hospital.

Troopers stopped the woman after she drove for about 16 miles (26km) and found her with an AR-15 rifle and 9mm handgun. She was arrested and booked into the Holmes county jail.

She was charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and improper discharge of a firearm.

The Florida highway patrol did not provide details about bail or Celestine’s legal representation.

The ease with which Americans are able to stockpile guns and then potentially use them to attack strangers at random has motivated many activists to call on federal lawmakers to enact more substantial firearms restrictions. Few such measures have been adopted.

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