Wallace Fountain, 77, and his wife, Beverly Fountain, 72, were arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault without intent to kill after they opened fire on Charles McMillon Jr., his son, and childhood friend Kendrick Clemons as they were dropping off a U-Haul truck.
“They had just parked the van at a U-Haul drop-off at Fountain Plaza on Apalachee Parkway and were sitting in McMillon’s truck getting ready to go. As he typed in the mileage on a phone app, a gunshot rang out,” reports the Tallahassee Democrat. “They looked back and saw an older couple coming toward them, both pointing guns in their direction. The couple yelled ‘Don’t move!’ and other commands to surrender.”
But McMillon threw his truck in reverse, drove around the van and sped off in a blind panic. They heard more gunfire as they fled.
“They managed to escape Thursday night with their lives — incredibly, a police officer who happened to be in the parking lot intervened after the shooting began. But they’ll never forget their ordeal — the product, they said, of racial profiling by would-be vigilantes,” the newspaper reported.
It turned out the two shooters, who are white, own the strip mall and were staking it out inside a U-Haul of their own. The couple claims they were having problems with people stealing gas and wanted to scare off any culprits.
But McMillon and Clemons said the Fountains never asked why they were there — or even whether they needed any help. They just opened fire.
“They saw three Black people, unarmed, dropping off a U-Haul,” McMillon said. “They got guns, they started shooting. That’s why it’s racially motivated.”
Beverly Fountain, who retired in 1996 as a longtime secretary for the State Attorney’s Office, said the shooting had nothing to do with race. She denied even knowing McMillon or Clemons’ skin color.
“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.”
Tallahassee Police Department officers arrested the Fountains that night on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. They were found carrying several pistols, including a .357-caliber Magnum and a Glock 19. Officers also found a shotgun in their U-Haul.