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Woman accused of shooting drivers on Florida interstate says she was directed by God


A Georgia woman who allegedly wounded two drivers on a Florida interstate Monday told people God directed her to carry out the shootings “in relation to” the solar eclipse, authorities said.

Taylon Nichelle Celestine, 22, was stopped on Interstate 10 near mile marker 96 on a felony traffic stop after being suspected of wounding two drivers a short time earlier, according to a statement from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Before the shooting began, the highway patrol said, Celestine “had recently checked out of a local hotel and told the staff she was going on a shooting spree, directed by ‘God’ in relation to the solar eclipse.”

She was arrested and booked into the Holmes County Jail on charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and improper discharge of a firearm, according to the highway patrol.

An AR-15 rifle and a 9 mm handgun were recovered in the Dodge Challenger with Georgia plates that Celestine was driving, the highway patrol said.

It was unclear Monday night if Celestine had secured a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.

The shooting occurred near Bonifay, which is about 50 miles north of Panama City.

After making the comment at the hotel, Celestine entered the interstate near mile marker 112 and drove westbound, the highway patrol said. Within five miles of entering the interstate, Celestine allegedly fired a weapon and struck another vehicle multiple times.

“The driver was struck by glass fragments from the window and grazed on the arm by a bullet; however, he was able to steer his vehicle onto the shoulder of the road, away from the suspect,” according to the highway patrol.

As she continued westbound, Celestine shot at another vehicle near mile-marker 107, the highway patrol said.

The driver was struck in the neck but survived and was being treated at a hospital, it said.

A total solar eclipse, nicknamed the Great North American Eclipse for its long path over North America, was visible in the sky Monday over 15 U.S. states, parts of Mexico and eastern Canada.


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