Criminal Blake Edward Fitzgerald and his girlfriend Brittany Nicole Harper were involved in a shootout in the early hours Friday morning after leading police on a car chase.
Blake and Brittany apparently robbed a shoe store on Friday night and were spotted by witnesses, which sparked the pursuit.
The hunt came to an end after the couple drove to a residential neighborhood in Milton and had “nowhere to go.”
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said the criminals attempted to run inside one of the homes, but never made it due to a shootout that left Blake dead.
Sheriff Morgan stated that Blake did have a gun, but wouldn’t confirm whether the 30-year-old Brittany was carrying a weapon.
Surprisingly though, during the standoff, Blake apparently used his own lady as a human shield!
The Sheriff described the incident saying:
“There was an attempt to take them into custody without shots fired.”
David went on to say:
“It occurred so quickly that the residents of the home were taken care of to get them out of where the firefight might have ensued.”
The standoff only lasted 15 minutes and by 12:52 a.m. Fitzgerald was dead.
Harper suffered injuries in her leg and ankle and was taken to a hospital. She will ultimately be arrested and charged with not only home invasion and robbery, but false imprisonment and grand theft auto.
Before this morning’s incident, the couple had a $10,000 bounty on their heads due to a crime spree across several states.
On Sunday, the gun toting couple kidnapped hotel clerk Kyle Dease in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, stole his car, and drove 60 miles before releasing the hostage.
Dease said he chatted with the robbers while he was riding with them and said he learned their hometown of Joplin, Missouri was devastated by a tornado. The former hostage also said the couple seemed very much in love, saying:
“They wanted to get married. They wanted to escape and start new lives.”
The criminal couple’s spree also included breaking into a home, stealing a Ford Edge, taking another woman hostage, robbing a gas station, and kidnapping ANOTHER clerk. On top of that, they were also wanted for committing two other robberies in the Florida Panhandle.
As in love as these baddies were, Morgan said he didn’t want to compare them to Bonnie and Clyde because:
“That only encourages people to be copycats. There’s nothing glamorous about death. There’s nothing glamorous about taking hostages.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Though we’re glad the crime spree is over, we’re saddened it had to end with so much violence.
[Image via Vestavia Hills Police Department.]