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Martin County Sheriff's Office arrests Stuart man in shooting spree of government buildings

Posted at 8:35 AM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-27 17:10:37-04

The Martin County Sheriff's Office said they arrested a man overnight suspected of a dangerous shooting spree that caused damage to multiple government agencies and businesses.

"I have detectives who haven’t slept in two to three days," said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder. "We were that concerned about it.”

In post the agency's Facebook page on Tuesday morning, law enforcement released aerial video of the arrest. 

Following an investigation and several nights of surveillance, deputies arrested Nathan Fiorella, 32, of Stuart around 2:30 a.m.

The sheriff's office said Fiorella shot at about 15 different buildings including the Martin County and Palm Beach County courthouses, the Martin County High School and several other buildings. Detectives said Fiorella was about to begin another shooting spree when they took him into custody.

He used high-powered air guns to shoot pellets and arrows into buildings. 

“He fired an arrow with enough velocity that it went through the window of a doctor’s office and lodged into a piece of furniture," said Snyder “That would kill someone in a heartbeat.”


Detectives were able to find Firoella after tracing one of the arrows back to a manufacturer in Utah and comparing receipts with zip codes from the Martin County area. 


Fiorella did not comment to investigators. Snyder said they are still looking into why Fiorella targeted those 15 buildings. 


“On several of them he’s known to be a patient," Snyder said. 

Fiorella had left his home and was driving the same black Escalade that was used in shootings throughout the past few months, said investigators.

During his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, Fiorella adressed the judge briefly.

One of his neighbors, who wanted to stay anonymous, said she wasn't surprised about his arrest. 


“He’s a nice kid but he's a little off," the neighbor said. 

The most recent incident took place at the state attorney's office when employees discovered shattered glass and a large hole in the wall of an office.

He used a high-powered air rifle, not your traditional pellet gun, according to the sheriff's office. The firearms not only fire projectiles but arrows with more than enough force to kill someone, the sheriff's office said.

Other buildings hit over the past few weeks include the election's office, an attorney's office, banks, Martin County High School and several private businesses. Investigators suspect at least 15 buildings were hit with projectiles and Fiorella has a connection to some of the businesses that were struck. They are looking into the possibility that he even shot at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder suspects other property has been damaged and he urges anyone who hasn't reported it to come forward. 

“We don’t know for sure but our theory is that based on the amount of shootings that were occurring it looked like he was building up to a crescendo and it’s not hard to believe that it was only a matter of time before he shot somebody,” Sheriff Snyder said.

Teams conducted surveillance on Fiorella’s home and caught him on aerial video shooting from his vehicle at a sign in Martin County.

On Monday night, the sheriff's office said they assembled and waited for Fiorella to strike again.  

That's when a SWAT team surrounded Fiorella’s vehicle and arrested him. The take down was captured on night video from the sheriff's office helicopter.

Detectives served a search warrant of Fiorella’s home where they found weapons and ammunition consistent with the shootings.

The sheriff's office said Fiorella has an arrest history that includes reckless driving, high speed fleeing and eluding and failure to appear on possession of narcotics.

They don't think anyone was hurt during the shooting spree.

Fiorella was charged with shooting a deadly missile into a structure and taken to the Martin County Jail on a $200,000 bond.

His is not cooperating with detectives, the sheriff said.

At his first appearance Tuesday afternoon it was noted that he had not filled out an application for a public defender. When asked if he had any questions he replied, “I’d just like to say convict, confusion, conspiracy and control. That’s it. It’s all a con. The whole system is a con.”

Fiorella's neighbor said he lived by himself in a house his parents had bought for him.