Shooter Identified in VA Clinic Shooting

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THE VILLAGES  – The shooter responsible for the incident that took place early Tuesday morning has been identified as 60-year-old veteran Stephen Cometa according to a source.

Cometa entered the VA Clinic located on Mulberry Lane in The Villages just after 9:00 am Tuesday armed with an AR-15 rifle.

According to the source, Cometa entered the office and aimed the rifle at an unnamed person working at the Clinic.

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A single shot was fired but did not strike anyone thanks to another worker at the clinic who reportedly disarmed Cometa in the process of the shooting.

Marion County Deputies arrived on scene and quickly evacuated the building while investigating the incident.

Due to the clinic being a federal building, the FBI soon arrived and took jurisdiction of the investigation.

Marion County deputies remained on scene to assist agents along with Marion County SWAT and Bomb Squad.

After several hours, the scene was cleared and workers were allowed to re-enter the building.

The clinic remained closed the rest of the day on Tuesday and is expected to re-open Wednesday morning according to VA Clinic personnel.

Officials have not released any further details related to motive or the identity of the person Cometa attempted to shoot.

Cometa was arrested and charged with assault on a federal officer according to Marion County arrest records.

He is currently being held without bond at the Marion County Jail on a federal hold until FBI takes custody of him.

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