A pursuit that began over a reported $56 of stolen gasoline from a Callaway gas station ended in gunfire Sunday after a Gulf County Sheriff’s Office deputy shot and killed the suspect in Port St. Joe.
On Tuesday, GCSO officials identified the man killed as Joseph David Durman, 46, of Kingsport, Tennessee. The deputy involved has not been identified.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident, as is standard procedure for all officer-involved shootings.
Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison said Tuesday he hoped to be able to release more details by Friday, after he was briefed on the investigation by FDLE.
Harrison added that notifying next of kin had taken two days and was only made Tuesday.
The shooting occurred on Avenue A near the intersection with Dr. David Langston Drive.
Harrison immediately turned the investigation over to the FDLE.
According to a Bay County Sheriff’s Office incident report, BCSO deputies responded to the Beeline gas station on South Tyndall Parkway about 1:43 p.m. Sunday in reference to a man — later identified as Durman — filling up his white Ford Explorer with $56 of gasoline, then driving off without paying.
The clerk told deputies that Durman gave him a Walmart debit card to hold while he filled up his truck first to figure out how much it would cost. Durman filled his truck, then took off, the clerk said.
As Durman fled the scene, a man in a silver Ford Mustang gave chase, letting law enforcement know their location.
According to the report though, the Mustang would not back off the pursuit once law enforcement engaged, going so far as to pass deputies and Tyndall police once the chase crossed onto the Air Force base and pulling in front of Durman, slowing down to try to stop him “recklessly.”
Considering the potentially dangerous situation unfolding and that the charge was only for gas theft, BCSO deputies broke off pursuit but Tyndall police continued to give chase through the base and into Mexico Beach, where Mexico Beach police joined the pursuit, according to the report.
Once the pursuit crossed into Gulf County, GCSO picked up the pursuit, which ended on Avenue A in Port St. Joe.
“I was advised that the pursuit had entered into Gulf County and the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office was now involved in the pursuit,” the report reads. “A few minutes later, I was notified by Lt. Jencks that the Suspect had stopped or was stopped by law enforcement and had exited the Explorer with a gun and the suspect had been shot and was now deceased.”
No other details about the shooting were made available as of press time.
Star Editor Tim Croft contributed to this report