A Panama City Beach man was shot early Sunday morning after waking a homeowner during a burglary.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported receiving a 911 call in reference to a burglary in progress at 1838 Pettis Road at approximately 2:45 a.m. Sunday. The complainant stated she heard a loud noise and woke her husband, who found three male subjects actively burglarizing their vehicles located in their front yard.
The homeowner advised he investigated where the sound originated from and observed three white males in the homeowners’ vehicles. One of those vehicles contained a firearm.
The suspects were confronted by the homeowner, who was armed with an AK-47, and began to flee to their vehicle.
During this time, a suspect, later identified as Tristen Wilson, 19, of Panama City Beach, turned toward the homeowner in a manner that made the homeowner fear he was about to be shot, and the homeowner began to fire his rifle.
At this time, the suspects reportedly fled in a black vehicle that possibly had a flat tire. The homeowner also reported the firearm that was in their vehicle was then missing.
Deputies immediately responded finding a black 4-door Honda, sitting in the middle of Pettis Road with three male occupants. Upon initiating a traffic stop, deputies ordered the suspects to exit the vehicle at which time they observed the front passenger, identified as Wilson, drop a small baggie of marijuana onto the ground.
According to deputies, it was “apparent [the suspects] were all under the influence of either alcohol or drugs,” and they were not following commands.
Once all suspects were detained, Wilson advised deputies he had been shot. Washington County EMS responded immediately and transported Wilson to Bay Medical Center for treatment of a gunshot wound to the leg.
Upon further investigation, a loaded 9 mm handgun was found inside the suspects’ vehicle. The homeowner’s handgun was later found in the wood line nearby.
Kevin Taylor, 15, was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice on the charges of grand theft of a firearm, two counts of burglary of a dwelling, structure or conveyance, and obstructing justice/tampering in felony 1st degree proceeding.
Conrad VonBlankenburg, 19, of Panama City Beach, was taken into custody and transported to the Washington County Jail on the charges of grand theft of a firearm, two counts of burglary of a dwelling, structure or conveyance, and obstructing justice/tampering in felony 1st degree proceeding.
Wilson is also being charged with grand theft of a firearm, two counts of burglary of a dwelling, structure or conveyance, obstructing justice/tampering in felony 1st degree proceeding, and possession of marijuana less than 20 grams.
“The safety of our community is our priority and we are thankful that this did not end worse than it did,” says Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews. “We will not tolerate homes or property being burglarized or the danger that comes with it in this county. We are thankful the homeowners are safe after this incident and the perpetrators are behind bars.”
Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews urges anyone with knowledge of crimes being committed to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 850-638-6111. Tips may also be reported anonymously by calling 850-638-TIPS (8477) or by emailing [email protected].