Winter Haven, Florida -- An intoxicated man on the hunt for his brother mistakenly fired shots at a newspaper delivery vehicle early Sunday morning, but reports say he ended up being the only one injured.
According to the Winter Haven Police Department, it was just before 3 a.m. when Lakeland Ledger newspaper carriers, Tiffany Simo and Douglas Romeo, were delivering newspapers in the area of West Lake Cannon Terrace.
Somo and Romeo told officers things took a terrible turn when a man, later identified as 23-year-old Brian Dickey, started following them, and fired four gunshots when they pulled over to prepare more papers for delivery.
But the incident wouldn't end with Dickey's gun being the only to fire bullets.
According to the report, within seconds of Dickey's gunshots, he appeared at the driver's side of their car. He demanded they open the door as he banged on the window and pointed the gun at Simo and Romeo.
"Fearing for both of their lives", the report says, Romeo grabbed his permitted, concealed firearm from a lock-box and fired through the window- striking Dickey twice near the collar bone, and grazing his arm.
Dickey's injuries were non-life threatening, and he reportedly fled the scene. Both a nearby neighbor and the two victims called police immediately, but a call from a third person a short time later ended up leading them to Dickey.
Someone reported spotting a man with gunshot wounds on the 2000 block of Ave. G.- just .2 miles from Dickey's home. Officers responded to the scene and medical personnel transported him to Lakeland Regional Medical center for treatment, where officials say he is still recovering.
Interviews with others at Dickey's residence revealed the cause of the commotion. Dickey reportedly fired the shots because he thought he'd found his brother, who he'd been searching for after he intervened in an earlier disagreement between Dickey and his girlfriend.
"This guy got much more than he bargained for," said Chief Gary Hester. "These victims feared for their lives and did exactly what they needed to do. This could have turned out so much worse than it did."
When Dickey is released from the hospital, officials say he will be booked at the Polk County Jail on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm in public.
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