Motorcyclist shot by off-duty FBI agent at MacDill Air Force Base gate

TAMPA — An off-duty FBI agent shot and killed an Army veteran Wednesday night after a confrontation and chase at MacDill Air Force Base, officials said.

It all started at the base's family camp, a recreational vehicle area at the south end of the base, said Col. Larry Martin, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander. The veteran was visiting the base when an altercation broke out. He took off on a motorcycle with security officials in pursuit, according to Martin.

"He became more and more aggressive as the pursuit continued," said Dave Couvertier, a special agent with the FBI.

When the motorcyclist arrived at the gate on S Dale Mabry Highway, he got to his feet and confronted an FBI agent, who was at the base on unrelated business, with a knife, Couvertier said.

The agent opened fire and shot the veteran at least one time, he said.

Rescue workers were summoned to help the shooting victim just outside the MacDill gate at 6:47 p.m. The victim died at the scene, according to Tampa Fire-Rescue.

No one else was injured, and the victim's name was not immediately disclosed.

"Our security forces personnel acted promptly to safeguard the base and its personnel," Martin said.

The base was placed on routine lockdown after the altercation at the family camp, Martin said. The Dale Mabry gate remained closed Wednesday night, and officials were not sure when it would reopen. The entrances on Bayshore Boulevard and MacDill Avenue reopened shortly after the shooting.

The incident remains under investigation but doesn't appear to be an act of terrorism, Martin said.

The FBI is investigating with the assistance of Tampa police. However, Air Force officials will be responsible for all releases of information about the shooting, Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said. An FBI shooting review team will arrive today from Washington, D.C.

Shelley Rossetter can be reached at (813) 226-3374 or srossetter@sptimes.com.

Motorcyclist shot by off-duty FBI agent at MacDill Air Force Base gate 05/19/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 20, 2010 1:06am]

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