MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A 37-year-old of Palmetto Bay man faces federal attempted murder and firearms charges after authorities say he opened fire with an AK-47 at park rangers who were trying to get him out of an area of Everglades National Park on Sunday.
Drew Curtis Sikes was scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday.
According to a criminal complaint affidavit, investigators were responding to a domestic violence call where they observed “scrapes and marks on the face of Sikes’s alleged victim.”
They then went searching for Sikes along Highway 9336, between the Mahogany Hammocks and Flamingo Park sections of Everglades National Park.
“When officers arrived in marked police vehicles to the wooded area where they believed Sikes to be, they used a loudspeaker to convey information and commands to Sikes: They identified themselves as law enforcement and directed Sikes to exit the woods,” a news release from Acting U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida said.
“At that point, according to the complaint affidavit, officers heard gunfire and felt rounds traveling over their heads. Despite officers’ continued commands that Sikes cease fire and emerge from the woods, Sikes continued shooting, says the affidavit.”
Sikes is alleged to have fired 50 rounds at the rangers.
Prosecutors say officers negotiated for over an hour with him before he eventually came out of the woods and was arrested.
The park had put out an alert on social media about an active shooter situation, warning the public to avoid the area, before announcing that the suspect had been taken into custody.