WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla.
CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB) — One of the victims of a Saturday shooting in Ebro is sharing his experience, after the incident put one man in the hospital and led to the chase and arrest of two Colorado suspects.
Chipley resident, Brad Collins, said he was driving home from the beach a little after midnight when he noticed a white Jeep sitting in the middle of the intersection of State Roads 20 and 79 in Ebro.
“[I] figured well, it’s late, I might as well see if he needs some help,” Collins said in an interview with News 13.
He said as he approached the light, the unthinkable began to unfold in front of him.
“That’s when I saw him shoot at the Penske driver,” he said.
A 21-year old man driving a Penske box truck was allegedly shot in the neck by the driver of the Jeep, later identified by investigators as Duane Storey, before the shooter started firing at Collins.
“You always think about what you’d do if you’re in a situation like that but when you’re in that situation it’s completely different,” he said. “There isn’t any time to think.”
Now in the line of fire, Collins backed up as bullets hit the truck. He said the shooter took multiple shots at his vehicle before getting back in the Jeep and driving south on SR 79. Collins then called 9-1-1; in the call recording, he can be heard alerting dispatchers that the suspects, Storey and passenger Cody Brelsford, were heading toward Panama City Beach.
Collins said he then went to check on the driver of the Penske truck.
“That’s when I saw him covered in blood,” he said. “So I got my gloves on and did the best I could to stop the bleeding until EMS got there.”
In the victim’s 9-1-1 call, Collins is heard talking to the 21-year old, telling him he will be alright and to keep breathing. He said he previously worked at a chemical plant in which there was plenty of first aid training; that training helped him to keep the victim alive while they waited for help to arrive.
“He was kind of in and out,” Collins said. “All I could do was try to keep him talking so he could stay coherent.”
He said the minutes-long wait for an ambulance felt like hours in the cold. Now, Collins said he is relieved to know the victim is alive and expected to recover. He said he believes it was an act of God.
“I feel like I was there for a reason,” Collins said. “If I wouldn’t have been there, he probably would have kept shooting at that Penske driver. I lost my truck out of it, but that young man’s still living.”
Collins sustained no injuries from the incident.
BAY COUNTY, Fla.
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — After the shooting, a “be on the lookout” alert was sent to Bay County authorities; within the hour, a Bay County Sheriff’s Office deputy, Lt. Chad King, spotted the white Jeep from the alert in Panama City Beach near Moylan Road heading toward the Hathaway Bridge.
Lt. King, in an unmarked BCSO vehicle, approached the vehicle.
“At some point one of the occupants of the vehicle pointed a firearm at Lieutenant King,” said Bay County Sheriff, Tommy Ford.
According to reports, Lt. King then called for backup and a pursuit of the vehicle took place, being captured through dashcam footage. The chase continued over the Hathaway Bridge, when the suspects took a wrong turn.
“They actually took the exit off the flyaway that put them into the port,” Ford said. “They crashed through a barricade into the port.”
There, they came upon a dead-end, where the passenger of the vehicle got to the ground. The driver and apparent shooter, Storey, did not.
Bodycam footage of the event shows a rookie deputy, Zachery Edwards, talking to Storey, telling him to put down his weapon and negotiating with him to cooperate. The deputy eventually persuaded him to surrender, without incident.
“We’re blessed that more people weren’t hurt,” said Ford. “I think these individuals had some very bad motives and intentions.”
During an interview with Brelsford, Washington County investigators recalled a chilling statement.
“Storey told him to put on a vest and told him to take a shotgun, and we’re about to go to war,” said Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews. “Something along those lines.”
Authorities said they were found with body armor, guns and ammunition that could have penetrated bullet-proof vests.
“All indications that they were just getting started on whatever their plans were,” Crews said.
Both suspects are behind bars with multiple felony charges.
“They’re right where they need to be,” Crews said.
Ford said the Bay County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to work with Nashville authorities in a possible connection to a similar, but tragic shooting incident in Tennessee last Thursday, when a nurse was shot and killed on an interstate.
“We’re working very closely with them to try to determine the potential involvement of these subjects,” he said. “Obviously they had the capability to be involved in something like that.”
For the full video released by BCSO, click here. DISCLAIMER: GRAPHIC/EXPLICIT CONTENT.