Feds charge man accused of firing at officers in national park

Prosecutors charged Drew Curtis Sikes with attempting to kill an officer of the United States after a standoff in Florida’s Everglades National Park.

A man faces federal charges after authorities said he fired on officers in Florida’s Everglades National Park on Sunday.

Federal prosecutors charged Drew Curtis Sikes, 37, with attempting to kill an officer of the United States and with a federal gun crime after he shot several rounds from an AK-47 at officers who were trying to get him out of a wooded area in the park Sunday evening, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday.

Two park rangers had earlier responded to a domestic violence incident involving Sikes in the park, but when they arrived, Sikes had left the scene in his vehicle, according to a National Park Service statement. The officers noticed scrapes and marks on the face of Sikes’ victim, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office statement.

Rangers eventually found Sikes’ vehicle and determined he had fled into the woods, the statement said. They used a loudspeaker to identify themselves and ask Sikes to come out of the woods.

But shortly after, officers heard gunfire and felt bullets flying over their heads, according to prosecutors.

“Despite officers’ continued commands that Sikes cease fire and emerge from the woods, Sikes continued shooting,” an affidavit said, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Law enforcement officers negotiated for over an hour with Sikes, who eventually emerged from the woods and was arrested.”

No one was injured, according to the National Park Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office statements.

The National Park Service and FBI Miami are investigating the case. The Miami Dade Police Department provided assistance on the scene. Tweets from Everglades National Park on Sunday said that the park’s main road was closed, along with one entrance to the park, and anyone nearby was advised to shelter in place.

Sikes is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Tuesday in federal magistrate court in Miami. It is unclear if he has an attorney.