Nassau County, FL – A five-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl were shot last Saturday evening when the drivers of the vehicles they were riding in opened fire on one another during a road-rage incident, according to investigators.
The rolling gunbattle occurred on U.S. 1 near Callahan at approximately 6 p.m. on Oct. 8, WJXT reported.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said that according to witnesses, the “cat-and-mouse-game” involved a Nissan Murano with three occupants and a Dodge Ram pickup truck with five occupants.
The driver behind the wheel of the Nissan Murano was later identified as 43-year-old Frank Gilliard Allison, and the driver of the Dodge Ram was identified as 35-year-old William Joseph Hale.
The incident began in Duval County, when Hale and Murano allegedly began “speeding, driving erratically, and brake-checking each other,” Sheriff Leeper said, according to WJXT.
Witnesses said the passengers in one of the vehicles began making obscene gestures at the occupants of the other vehicle and even threw a water bottle at the other car at one point, WOKV reported.
“According to the Nissan driver, Allison, the water bottle did not hurt him or cause him to lose control of vehicle,” Sheriff Leeper noted, according to WJXT.
Investigators said that Allison ultimately opened fire on Hale’s pickup, then sped off ahead of him.
Allison allegedly told police he only fired his gun in an attempt to “get out of the whole situation,” Sheriff Leeper said.
Hale said he “heard a loud ‘pow’ but didn’t really think nothing of it until everyone started freaking out in the back seat,” Sheriff Leeper said.
That’s when he realized his five-year-old daughter had been shot in the leg, WJAX reported.
Hale immediately stomped on the accelerator and caught back up to the Nissan Murano, then fired multiple rounds at the car, according to Sheriff Leeper.
“According to the Dodge driver, he shot everything that was in the magazine — seven or eight rounds,” the sheriff noted, according to WJXT.
One of the bullets went into Allison’s car and hit a 14-year-old girl in the back, collapsing her lung.
The teen is Allison’s daughter, WJAX reported.
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) said it received multiple 911 calls from the occupants of both vehicles advising that their daughters had been shot, WOKV reported.
The men both continued driving northbound until they spotted a NCSO patrol vehicle, according to WJXT.
They then pulled over, got out of their respective vehicles, and began arguing and physically fighting with one another, Sheriff Leeper said.
The deputy ended up having to jump into the fray to break up the brawl, according to the sheriff.
Sheriff Leeper said both wounded girls were rushed to a local hospital and are expected to survive their injuries, WJXT reported.
Hale and Allison were arrested and booked into the Nassau County jail on attempted murder charges.
They had both bonded out as of Monday, WOKV reported.
“What is scarier than one crazy driver with a gun? Two crazy drivers with a gun,” Sheriff Leeper said, according to WJXT. “Thankfully, no one was killed in this incident. But it could have been 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,” he added.