A newspaper carrier shot an armed man three times Sunday morning in Winter Haven, according to authorities.
Tiffany Simo and Douglas Romeo were delivering newspapers for the Lakeland Ledger around 2:50 a.m. in the area of West Lake Cannon Terrace when they noticed a vehicle following them.
The pair pulled over to prepare papers for delivery a short time later when the driver of that car, Brian Scott Dickey II, 23, fired four shots and then began banging on the driver’s side window of their car, according to the Winter Haven Police Department.
Dickey, armed with a .380 caliber Bersa handgun, demanded the couple open the door, police said.
Romeo armed himself with a gun from a lockbox inside of the vehicle and fired through the window three times. Dickey was struck three times, once just under his right collarbone, another bullet entered a few inches below that and the final shot grazed Dickey’s right arm, police said.
Romeo has a valid State of Florida Concealed Weapons Permit.
A nearby resident called 911 just after the shots were fired, but Dickey had left the scene. A short time later, another call was received by 911 from Dickey’s home, 2007 Ave. G., NW, less than a half mile away.
Dickey, who was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center in stable condition, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm in public. Upon his release, he will be taken to the Polk County Jail.
An initial investigation revealed Dickey had been drinking earlier in the night when he got into an argument with his girlfriend, according to police. His brother was called to the home to calm him down, but they, too, began to argue. The brother left the house and Dickey grabbed his gun in an attempt to find him. Dickey thought the car in which Simo and Romeo were in belonged to his brother, police said.
"This guy got much more than he bargained for,” Winter Haven police chief Gary Hester said. “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.”