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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Weirsdale man arrested in fatal shooting of retired deputy

Steven Smolensky
Steven Smolensky

A Weirsdale man has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a retired sheriff’s deputy attempting to make a propane delivery.

Steven Alan Swearingen, 38, is facing a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 52-year-old Steven Smolensky.

Marion County sheriff’s deputies responded at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday to the report of a shooting at 15055 SE 180th Street, in Weirsdale. When deputies arrived at the location, they found Smolensky, who was deceased and had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Smolensky had gone to the location to deliver propane for his employer, Suburban Propane. While at the residence, Smolensky was confronted by Swearingen, who was armed with a pistol and held him at gunpoint, refusing to let him leave the location or return to his propane truck. Swearingen shot the victim multiple times.

Steven Alan Swearingen
Steven Alan Swearingen

Swearingen was taken into custody and transported to the Criminal Investigations Division for questioning. During his interview, Swearingen stated he believed Smolensky was there to “fill the home with propane” so he retrieved a handgun and confronted him. Smolensky attempted to return to his propane truck, but Swearingen held him at gunpoint and would not allow him to move. Swearingen admitted to shooting the victim multiple times.

Smolensky, was a retired deputy sheriff who had served with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office for 25 years.

Swearingen is a convicted felon with an extensive criminal history, including convictions for crimes involving violence towards law enforcement.

Swearingen was booked without bond at the Marion County Jail.

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