UPDATE FROM WALTON COUNTY SO NEWS RELEASE:
WALTON COUNTY, Fla— The plot has thickened in a case originally thought to be a robbery at a Circle K in Miramar Beach.
The gas station clerk Mary Yard, 30, of DeFuniak Springs has been arrested by Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and charged with fleeing and eluding and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
Charges stem from her involvement in a multi-county multi-agency pursuit where she drove Dallas Francis, 33, as he repeatedly shot at deputies and later troopers following an attempted traffic stop.
Yard was originally thought to be the victim of the Friday morning robbery. Walton County Sheriff’s Office investigators had been searching for Francis who was suspected of stealing more than $34,000 from the Circle K at around 5:20 am.
Francis has a lengthy criminal history including prior felony charges of aggravated robbery out of Ohio.
It was less than 24 hours later he and Yard led deputies through three counties driving more than 60 miles at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour before being stopped on Interstate 10 at mile marker 53. It was there he opened fire on Florida Highway Patrol troopers and Okaloosa and Walton County deputies.
The shooting shut down I-10 for several hours as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated. Yard was eventually booked into the Okaloosa County Jail and Francis is being treated at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.
Additional charges are pending out of Walton County for both Yard and Francis.
We’d like to thank all agencies involved in helping bring two dangerous criminals into custody
OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Law enforcement officers in Northwest Florida shoot a man wanted for robbery after a high-speed chase early Saturday morning. According to a news release from Walton County, this all started when a man robbed a Circle K gas station in Miramar Beach early Friday morning just before dawn.
Early Saturday morning, just after midnight, Walton County deputies tried to pull over the suspect’s vehicle near Sue Lane and County Highway 183 South. That’s when a chase started. They say the suspect was firing at law enforcement and throwing money out of the window. The chase headed east into Holmes County, then back west into Okaloosa County via I-10.
The suspect’s vehicle hit spike strips at two different locations before stopping at the 53-mile marker. The news release says the suspect shot at law enforcement and they fired back. He was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. The suspect’s name has not been released, we don’t know his current condition. No one in law enforcement was hurt.
Here’s the news release from Walton County:
A suspect in an early morning robbery in Miramar Beach is in custody after opening fire during a pursuit with deputies that ended on Interstate 10.
At 5:20 am Friday, a white male entered the Circle K on Poinciana Boulevard in Miramar Beach with a gun and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Throughout the day, a suspect was developed.
Just after midnight Saturday, Walton County Sheriff’s Office attempted a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle near Sue Lane and County Highway 183 South.
The suspect immediately opened fire. Units continued to pursue the car eastbound into Holmes County on Highway 90 and then south onto State Highway 81 where the suspect turned westbound onto I-10.
Once the pursuit entered Interstate 10, the suspect repeatedly threw money out of the window and pointed a firearm at deputies and troopers.
DeFuniak Springs Police Department was able to spike the vehicle at the 85-mile marker, but the suspect continued hitting speeds more than 100 miles per hour. At this point, Florida Highway Patrol joined the pursuit. Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office set up spikes at the 56-mile marker where they successfully spiked the vehicle for a second time.
The car came to a stop at mile marker 53 where the suspect exited shooting. Responding agencies returned fire, injuring the suspect. He was transported to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.
While several patrol vehicles were hit with gunfire, no deputies or troopers were injured. At least six patrol vehicles were damaged during the pursuit.
As of 5 am Saturday, Walton County Sheriff’s Office along with Florida Highway Patrol, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are currently on scene at mile marker 53, westbound on I-10.
FDLE will be investigating the deputy-involved shooting portion of the incident.
Westbound lanes of Interstate 10 are still shut down at this time. Drivers are asked to use the Crestview exit to Highway 90 as an alternate route until the investigation is completed.