A white couple in Florida was arrested last week when they allegedly opened fire at two Black men while they were simply dropping off a U-Haul van at a strip mall.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Charles McMillon and Kendrick Clemons along with McMillon’s 10-year-old son were sitting in McMillon’s truck when they heard a gunshot. When they turned around, they saw the couple approaching them, yelling at them to surrender.
But McMillon put his truck in gear and pulled off as the couple fired more shots. A police officer was nearby and intervened.
“It was a life-threatening situation,” McMillon told the newspaper. “I didn’t even know where I was going. I had my head down and I was making sure my son was covered. And I just pushed the gas to the floor. Didn’t know if I was going to hit something or not.”
McMillon says he believes the shooters were vigilantes who were targeting Black people.
“They saw three Black people, unarmed, dropping off a U-Haul,” McMillon told the Democrat. “They got guns, they started shooting. That’s why it’s racially motivated.”
Police took the couple, identified as Wallace Fountain, 77, and his wife, Beverly Fountain, 72, into custody. They own the strip mall where the incident took place and claim they were having problems with people poaching gas from them and were trying to scare away thieves.
Tallahassee police officers arrested the Fountains, charging them with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. They also possessed several pistols, including two semi-automatics. Officers also found a shotgun in their U-Haul.
But in an interview with the Democrat, Beverly Fountain claimed ignorance of the race of the people at whom she and her husband were shooting.
“Were they Black?” she asked. “We weren’t going off on that at all. You’ve got vandalism and theft going on at your property. Trying to protect your property — that’s the only issue.” She also said that the incident was overinflated. “The whole country has gone to hell with all these riots. One incident was blown out of proportion.”
McMillon and Clemons say they want to expose what happened publicly and their lawyer, Charles Gee said they were suing U-Haul and the couple.
“This country is seeing a wave of anti-Black vigilantism,” Gee said. “And what we’re seeing that almost happened ... is someone taking the law into their own hands and serving as cop, judge, jury and ultimately executioner.”
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