Search for Missouri suspects ended in shootout

Posted at 9:56 AM, Feb 05, 2016

MILTON, Fla. (AP) — A sheriff’s sergeant in the Florida Panhandle says the search for a Missouri couple suspected in a series of robberies and abductions in Alabama and Georgia ended in a shootout that killed the man and left the woman wounded.

Santa Rosa County sheriff’s Sgt. Rich Alloy says there was a shootout early Friday between the suspects and law enforcement officers that left Blake Fitzgerald dead and Brittany Nicole Harper wounded.

Alloy said his agency learned around 12:30 a.m. that the suspects were heading into Santa Rosa County, so their officers joined the search, which ended on a road. Alloy says that because a shooting took place, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was taking over the investigation. Alloy did not give any other details of the chase and shooting.

Authorities have linked Fitzgerald and Harper to a series of crimes in Alabama and Georgia, saying the offenses fit a similar pattern: People are robbed, kidnapped and let go unharmed, usually after a vehicle is stolen.