CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WKRG) — Two people are facing multiple charges after a robbery in Miramar Beach. One of them was shot by responding officers, and the other, a clerk at the gas station that was robbed, faces charges.
The Initial Crime
Dallas Francis, 33, robbed a Circle K gas station on Poinciana Boulevard early Friday morning, according to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said Francis entered the store around 5 a.m. with a gun and demanded money from the register. WCSO said the clerk then gave Francis more than $34,000 from the store and he ran away. Investigators said they identified Francis from Circle K surveillance video.
Francis has a long criminal, record including felony charges. Francis moved to Walton County after being released from prison in Ohio, according to WCSO.
Early Saturday morning, Walton County investigators found the suspect’s car, a Honda CRV, using FLOCK cameras. Deputies went to the registered house in the Argyle community of DeFuniak Springs to locate the suspect
Minutes later Francis and the gas station clerk, 30-year-old Mary Yard, pulled up to the house in a KIA.
Deputies attempted to stop the car and Francis opened fire on the deputies at short range. WCSO patrol cars broke down from bullet damage and the two sped off.
Deputies chased the KIA from Ponce De Leon to Highway 90 in Holmes County. Walton County Sheriff Adkinson said Francis fired shots out the passenger side of the car while being chased by deputies.
Yard took Highway 90 before they fled to Interstate 10. WCSO said the chase exceeded 100 mph multiple times on Westbound I-10. WCSO said Francis and Yard threw wads of cash out the window while being chased.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and Okaloosa County Deputies joined the pursuit, placing spike strips near Crestview. The car finally came to rest at mile marker 53 in Okaloosa County. The chase went for 60 miles, according to WCSO.
Dallas Francis tried to run away from the broken-down car, according to WCSO. He shot at law enforcement while running from the passenger side of the car.
FHP Troopers, WCSO and OCSO deputies on scene returned fire and shot Francis. Once in custody, deputies transported Francis to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center for treatment.
WCSO provided an update Saturday morning when I-10 shut down.
Yard also tried to flee from the car but fell and broke her foot, according to OCSO staff on the scene. No deputies were injured. 6 patrol cars were hit by the stray bullets. OCSO also provided an update after the shooting on I-10.
Mary Yard was identified as the gas station clerk from the robbery. Yard also lives in the house deputies searched for the suspect car. WCSO said they are boyfriend and girlfriend.
Yard faces charges of fleeing and eluding and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
Francis is facing multiple charges including attempted murder and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
Traffic backed up for hours on Interstate 10 as FDLE worked the scene. I-10 reopened around 11:15 am Saturday morning.
Francis is undergoing treatment for his injuries and is not yet in the Okaloosa County Jail Log with charges. WKRG News 5 has reached out to OCSO for an update on his condition.
WCSO said Francis got most of the gas station cash from an open safe in the building. Sheriff Adkinson said the early morning grab is suspicious and WCSO is still investigating the robbery.
Both WCSO and OCSO held a joined press conference later Saturday afternoon to talk about the chase.
Watch that press conference below:
FHP sent a release Saturday afternoon regarding their assistance in the chase.