Traffic came to a standstill on Interstate 4 on Sunday morning after an accused armed arson suspect was shot by deputies following a pursuit.
According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a 911 call came into the agency shortly before 8:15 a.m. about a man throwing Molotov cocktails onto the roof of a Lakeland home. The first deputy to arrive said he saw Luke Neely, 30, throw one of seven Molotov cocktails, one of which exploded on the house and the others rolled down and ignited the yard.
The deputy commanded Neely to stop, but he jumped in his car and fled the scene. Sheriff's deputies tracked Neely onto I-4 where they conducted a pit maneuver on his vehicle while pursuing him, which caused Neely to crash.
The homeowner of the home that was allegedly targeted by Neeley spoke about his arrest.
"I think I would tell him that I'm sorry for him," said Chase Esteves. "Because to me, it seems there should've been a lot of people in his life that realized that he needed help."
According to Judd, Neely was armed with an AR-15 with 57 rounds of ammunition. Judd says Neely also had a fully-loaded handgun on his hip.