Two children were shot dead after the men driving the cars they were in shot each other during a road rage incident on a Florida highway, a sheriff said this week.
The children’s injuries, a 5-year-old girl shot in the leg and a 14-year-old girl shot in the back, were not life-threatening, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said.
“There could have been two dead children because of two stupid adults,” Leeper said at a press conference on Monday.
William Hale, 35, of Douglas, Georgia, and Frank Allison, 43, of Callahan, Florida, have been charged with attempted murder, Leeper said.
The shooting happened around 6 p.m. Saturday on U.S. Route 1 north of Jacksonville after aggressive movements between drivers that included each other’s “brake check,” Leeper said.
Hale, driving a Dodge Ram, pulled up next to Allison in a Nissan Murano, the front passenger of the Nissan gave the Ram the middle finger, and someone in that truck threw a bottle of water in the Nissan through the open window, Leeper said.
According to the sheriff and an arrest report, Allison pulled a .45 caliber Sig Sauer handgun and fired a shot, which went through the door and hit Hale’s 5-year-old daughter in the leg .
Hale then allegedly pulled out a 9mm Glock handgun and fired seven or eight shots, hitting the Nissan three times. One of those bullets hit a 14-year-old who was in the back of the Nissan, according to an arrest report. The girl was hit in the back and had a collapsed lung, Leeper said.
The two men stopped their vehicles when they saw a sheriff’s patrol car, got out and started arguing. A deputy broke up the fight and called the Nassau County Fire Department, who took the children to the hospital for treatment, Leeper said.
Allison and Hale were released from jail after posting bond, Leeper said. Court records show they face charges of attempted second degree murder. The records do not show that any pleas were entered.
An attorney listed as representing Allison did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Thursday. Online court records did not show an attorney for Hale.