The hunt for a Missouri couple who had been called a “modern-day Bonnie and Clyde” ended early Friday morning, following an encounter with law enforcement in Florida that left one member of the pair dead and the other injured.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday that Blake Fitzgerald had been killed and Brittany Harper had been wounded.

Harper was taken to a local hospital, according to the sheriff’s office. Fitzgerald had tried to use her as a shield during the incident, authorities told reporters.

“There was an attempt to take them into custody without shots fired,” Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said at a Friday morning press conference, according to NBC News.


The pair was wanted in connection to a multi-state crime spree.

According to the Associated Press, the deadly confrontation unfolded after an armed robbery was reported at a Florida shoe store on Thursday night.

Authorities began chasing the couple, following them to nearby Pensacola Beach, before zigging and zagging though Pensacola and even going onto Interstate 10 a couple of times, Morgan said. At one point, authorities lost sight of the pair for a couple of hours, Morgan said. During that time, they held a Pensacola family hostage and eventually fled in the family’s red pickup truck, he said.
It was 12:16 a.m. Friday when the vehicle was spotted on I-10, Morgan said. Deputies followed the truck as it exited and went down a rural road.
Morgan said his deputies had a standoff with the couple for about 15 minutes before Fitzgerald got out of the truck and appeared to be heading into a home that was occupied near the small town of Milton. Gunfire erupted, and authorities say Fitzgerald was killed.

Fitzgerald and Harper, both 30, were wanted in connection to crimes that had occurred in multiple states. The U.S. Marshals Service had offered a reward for information that led to their 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.”


According to the Marshals Service:

The string of crimes started Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when the couple allegedly kidnapped a hotel clerk, stole his car, drove to Vestavia Hills, Alabama, released the hostage, and abandoned the stolen car. Law enforcement believes Fitzgerald then entered a residential home while the family was present, displayed a handgun and stole the family’s Ford Edge in Vestavia Hills, forcing the wife to go with him in the stolen vehicle against her will. The woman was later released unharmed in Birmingham, Alabama.
On Monday, the couple is believed to have robbed a convenience store in Perry, Georgia, also kidnapping and later releasing a clerk from the store.

Investigators also thought they were behind two more robberies that happened Wednesday in Florida, according to the Marshals Service release.


At Friday’s press conference, Morgan said he hoped the “Bonnie and Clyde” nickname didn’t glamorize what had occurred.

“Let’s also remember that Bonnie and Clyde were a couple of thugs too,” he said.

This post has been updated.