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OfferUp sale of a jetski turns into an armed robbery & shootout for two off-duty deputies

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Terrance Jones Jr. (Source: Sumter County Sheriff’s Office)

Carli Teproff
Miami Herald

They made a plan to buy Jet Skis from a “seller” on Offerup.

But when they showed up to an agreed upon location in Wildwood in Central Florida, the “seller” turned out to be an armed robber, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.

But the buyers were hiding something, too. They happened to be off-duty Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies.

According to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, the department was called to a shots fired complaint at around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

When deputies arrived they learned that the two victims — the off-duty deputies — had made “prior arrangements for the purchase” of the Jet Skis.

When they showed up, they were approached by a man with a semi-automatic pistol.

“The black male subject demanded the victims get on the ground while he pointed the firearm at them,” the department said in a Facebook post.

The deputies then “drew their firearms in self-defense,” according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

The supposed seller, identified as Terrance Jones Jr., opened fire, the sheriff’s office said. The deputies fired back. Jones, who was charged with armed robbery, suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound, the department said.

Deputies say another suspect was seen leaving the scene.

The department used the incident as a reminder to people to always be careful when “attempting to complete person-to-person online purchase transactions.”

“If this type of transaction is taking place, take necessary precautions to ensure safety,” the department said. “Conduct the transaction in a public place and if necessary contact law enforcement to be present during the transaction.”

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