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Woman 'directed by God' goes on shooting spree during eclipse

The 22-year-old shot two people on a Florida highway, and one is now in the hospital after getting a bullet to the neck.
Woman 'directed by God' goes on shooting spree during eclipse
Posted at 7:08 PM, Apr 08, 2024

A woman claiming "God" spoke to her during the solar eclipse shot two people on a Florida highway, state officials said Monday. 

The suspect, Taylon Nichelle Celestine, is now in custody after state troopers located her and her purple Dodge Challenger with Georgia plates on Interstate 10. After conducting a felony traffic stop, they found the 22-year-old with an AR-15 and a 9 mm handgun in her vehicle.

It's unclear which firearm Celestine used to shoot the other highway travelers, but Florida Highway Patrol said when she had checked out of a local hotel earlier that day, she told staff she'd be "going on a shooting spree, directed by God in relation to the solar eclipse."

She started the spree within five miles of entering the interstate, striking a passing car with gunfire multiple times, FHP said. Glass fragment from the window fell on the driver and a bullet grazed his arm, but authorities said he was able to drive to the shoulder to get away from the suspect.

Then as she continued driving westbound, Celestine fired at another passing vehicle, this time hitting the driver in the neck. FHP said the victim is currently receiving treatment for the injury at a nearby hospital. 

Celestine is currently in Holmes County Jail facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and improper discharge of a firearm. FHP said its Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence would release further details of its investigation when they're available.

SEE MORE: Solar eclipse sparks waves of excitement across North America

Solar eclipses are often seen in various religions as signs from God or other spiritual beings. In Christianity, for example, some see the celestial events as a sign that "end" or "judgment" times are imminent. 

Many point to certain Bible passages to back this interpretation, such as Joel 2:31, which says "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come." Others note the Bible's discussion of darkness befalling the Earth during Jesus' crucifixion. 

Meanwhile, other Christians say these events are just signs of life, not signs of God.

"There is something about the human nature that wants to rush to discovering signs of Jesus' return," one blogger wrote on "Jesus will come. There will be no ambiguity when it happens. Until then, beware of false prophets and enjoy the eclipse."

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