‘Bonnie and Clyde’ shootout in Florida: Male suspect dead, partner wounded
ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. — One half of the Missouri couple police say is responsible for a multistate crime spree is dead, and the other is in custody after an overnight standoff with Florida law enforcement officers.
Blake Edward Fitzgerald, 30, was shot and killed by Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies early Friday after a police chase, according to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan. Brittany Nicole Harper, also 30, the woman who police believe was working with Fitzgerald, was wounded in the standoff and is in police custody, Morgan said.
The pair were characterized by media and law enforcement as a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde — after the infamous Depression-era outlaws. Fitzgerald and Harper were accused of going on a spree that included kidnappings and robberies in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement.
The crime spree began Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, according to the U.S. Marshals, when the couple allegedly kidnapped a hotel clerk, stole his car and drove to Vestavia Hills, Alabama, about 60 miles away.
There, according to law enforcement, the couple released the hostage but entered a home and took a new one — the woman who lived there.
And so it went, across three states, according to the Marshals Service: The couple robbed a convenience store in Georgia and pulled off two more robberies in Florida before the shootout in Escambia County, on the western tip of the Florida Panhandle.
“Thankfully, no innocent member of the public has been physically harmed by this modern-day Bonnie and Clyde,” said U.S. Marshal Martin Keely in a press release Thursday, describing the couple as “armed and dangerous.”
The U.S. Marshals had offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to their arrest.