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Missouri 'Bonnie & Clyde' Search Ends; 1 Suspect Killed, Other Caught

Image: Missouri 'Bonnie & Clyde' Search Ends; 1 Suspect Killed, Other Caught
The search for a couple known as the Missouri "Bonnie and Clyde" ended Friday in a shootout. (WBRC screen grab)

By    |   Friday, 05 Feb 2016 04:01 PM

The search for a couple referred to as the “Missouri Bonnie and Clyde” ended early Friday, when Blake Fitzgerald died and Brittany Nicole Harper was wounded in a shootout with police in Florida's Panhandle.

The couple was wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South.

Harper, who was hospitalized with a wounded leg, faces charges including home invasion, robbery, false imprisonment, and grand theft auto, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The couple was suspected in a series of crimes in which people were robbed, kidnapped, and let go unharmed, usually after a vehicle was stolen, USA Today reported. The crime spree began Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with the alleged kidnapping of a hotel clerk, who was released 60 miles away and his stolen car abandoned.

Fitzgerald is then thought to have entered a residence, stolen an SUV, and forced the adult female of the home to go with him before releasing her unharmed in Birmingham, USA Today said.

On Monday, a convenience store clerk in Perry, Georgia, was held up at gunpoint and driven 15 miles away before being released unharmed.

The couple, both age 30, are suspected of two other robberies in Florida on Wednesday.

The armed robbery of a Famous Footwear in Pensacola led to a five-hour pursuit beginning about about 8 p.m. Thursday. The high-speed chase ended with the exchange of gunfire in Milton, Florida, USA Today said.

"There was an attempt to take them into custody without shots fired," Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said during a news conference.

The "Missouri Bonnie and Clyde" couple allegedly fled the stolen vehicle they were traveling in and tried to reach a home, NBC News reported.

Authorities said Fitzgerald attempted to use Harper as a shield from bullets. Officials wouldn’t provide certain details about the 15-minute standoff, including whether Fitzgerald pulled a weapon first or whether Harper was armed, the network reported.

NBC News said the saga may have begun Jan. 22 when a Joplin, Missouri, home was broken into and guns were stolen.

The U.S. Marshal Service had offered a reward for information leading to the couple’s arrest.

“Thankfully, no innocent member of the public has been physically harmed by this modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, but the couple is armed and dangerous, and has a history of violent crimes and a string of new charges,” U.S. Marshal Martin Keely of the Northern District of Alabama said in a statement released before the shootout. “The U.S. marshals and law enforcement need the public’s assistance in locating this dangerous couple, so we can get them off the streets and put a stop to their armed robberies, kidnappings and other crimes.”

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The search for a couple referred to as the "Missouri Bonnie and Clyde" ended early Friday, when Blake Fitzgerald died and Brittany Nicole Harper was wounded in a shootout with police in Florida's Panhandle.
missouri, bonnie and clyde, search, ends, shootout
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2016-01-05
Friday, 05 Feb 2016 04:01 PM
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