Two men have been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting each other's daughters in a "terrifying road-rage gun battle" in Florida.
Police said William Joseph Hale and Frank Gilliard Allison shot at each other's vehicles with semi-automatic handguns during a high-speed cat and mouse chase late Saturday. Hale's five-year-old daughter was hit in the leg, and Allison's 14-year-old daughter was shot in the back, leaving her with a collapsed lung.
The two men were apprehended when they got out and started brawling on the highway. Hale and Allison were taken into custody on Saturday evening. They were charged with one count each of attempted second-degree murder.
Two Stupid and Crazy Drivers with Guns
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said "What's scarier than one crazy driver with a gun? Two crazy drivers with a gun." He described the men's behaviour as "stupid" and "crazy". The sheriff told a press conference that thankfully, no one was killed in this incident. "But it could have very easily turned out that way because two people were acting stupid and let their tempers get the best of them. There could have been two dead kids because of two stupid grown men."
Leeper said they received multiple 911 calls with reports of people being shot at on Highway 1 near Callahan in suburban Jacksonville. One such caller told authorities that a black Dodge Ram pickup was involved in a cat and mouse game with a gray Nissan Murano. At one point, another vehicle was involved ahead of the gun battle. The sheriff said that Hale, who was from Gerogia, and local man Allison were speeding and driving erratically. "The men were also brake-checking â a practice that involves getting in front of each other and applying the brakes."
Road Rage and Tempers Flying
Hale pulled his Dodge alongside Allison's Nissan to shout for Jessica (Allison's wife) to flick him off with her middle finger and in response, a water bottle was thrown at her. Leeper said Allison then grabbed his Sig Sauer .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and fired one shot at the Dodge truck before driving away at average speed. Hale admitted to firing the shot to get out of the situation. But the bullet went into the right side rear passenger door and struck a five-year-old girl in the right leg.
The police said that when Hale realized that his daughter had been shot he sped up and began firing several shots from his Glock 43 9mm semi-automatic handgun out of the driver window. The sheriff revealed that Hale admitted that he "shot everything that was in the magazine â seven or eight rounds. "At least three bullets struck the Nissan. One bullet went through the rear of the vehicle and struck a 14-year-old girl in the back.
The men's wives called 911 and agreed to pullover to meet a deputy. But Hale and Allison started arguing and fighting whereby the deputy had to intervene to break up the fight. The two men were arrested, charged with second-degree attempted murder and released by the court hours later on $150,000 bond.