NORTH PALM BEACH - The head ranger at a state park on Singer Island shot a woman to death after she pulled a gun and fired at him, authorities said. The woman, who was not identified by police, died at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, where she was taken after the shooting Tuesday, police said.
Investigators said Capt. John Fillyaw, manager of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, shot the woman three times.
"This is the first time a park service employee has shot a human in the history of the state park service, which was set up in 1935," said Randy Lewis, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources.
Fillyaw, a 15-year veteran of the park service, was placed on administrative leave with pay while North Palm Beach police investigate the shooting.
Lewis described Fillyaw's leave as routine procedure.
"At this time, there doesn't appear to be any problems with (the shooting), although this is unusual," Lewis said.
Fillyaw and park service officer Tim Smith heard gunshots in the state park about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said. The two rangers, who are certified law enforcement officers, went to investigate and found a woman in the western part of the park.
When Fillyaw approached the woman and asked her for identification, she reached in her purse, pulled out a gun and fired at Fillyaw, police said.
The ranger then returned fire, fatally wounding the woman.