Shooting suspect turns himself in

Austin Phillip O'Neal
Posted at 3:03 PM, May 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-06 15:58:07-04

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - According to a post on the Franklin County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, Austin Phillip O'Neal has turned himself in and has been arrested for attempted murder after three people were shot in Apalachicola.

The shooting happened around lunchtime near the 100 block of Martin Luther King Blvd.

WTXL has confirmed through Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith the names of the three people shot. They are Phillip Barry O'Neal, Merchant Bunyon and Lataska "Bo" Harris.

Red tape marks the bullet holes on this house in Apalachicola, where just hours earlier, gunfire rang out, and three people were shot.

"They all knew each other, but we are still looking at why the confrontation occurred, what started it," says Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith. "One of the individuals who was shot had large amounts of marijuana and cash on him."

Delores Robinson was driving home from Tallahassee when she got the news.

"I called my nephew, Merchant, and couldn't get him so I came to the home and he's not here. Somebody told me to come to the house behind here, and that's where I found him, on the floor, shot in the back," said Robinson. "I picked his head up and told him to tell me, 'who shot you?' and he lifted his head up and said "Austin shot me".

The sheriff says immediately after the shooting, the suspect, Austin O'Neal left in a white vehicle, went down this road about a half a mile and dumped the car. He hasn't been seen since.

"He is 25 years old, and he shot two of the victims," said Sheriff Smith. "We have active search warrants out for attempted murder and we are actively looking for him."

While Delores waits to hear the status of her loved ones who were shot, she has a message for Austin.

"Austin, if you can hear me baby, come on, turn yourself in," pleads Delores. "You know you got family, we're all family, just come on, stop running, that's all auntie got to say. We love you."

The victims are all in stable condition.

Sheriff Smith says they believe there was a second shooter, and it's one of the victims.

If you have any information about where Austin O'Neal is, call the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) --The Franklin County Sheriff's Office identifies a suspect wanted for two counts of attempted murder in Apalachicola. 

Sheriff A.J. Smith confirms they are actively searching for Phillip Austin O'Neal, 25, in connection to the shooting around lunchtime on the 100 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


Sheriff Smith says deputies found O'Neal's getaway car one block away from the shooting, but he may still be in the area. 

Deputies say the three injured were taken to a hospital. One with serious injuries. 

This is an on-going investigation. 

5/5/2017 2:55 P.M. 

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL)--The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is on the scene of a shooting at the 100 block of MLK Blvd.

Deputies have confirmed that at least three people have been injured.

They're asking everyone to avoid the area.

WTXL will continue to bring you the latest details as they are made available.