for immediate release
January 18, 2002

N E W S   R E L E A S E

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting incident in Destin last night (Thursday night). The victim, Henry "Tony" Berthelot, age 48, of 192 Newman Drive in south Walton County, incurred a grazing wound to the inner thigh.

Berthelot told Deputies he witnessed what appeared to be a car-jacking or other disturbance in progress in the south-west section of the Super Wal-Mart parking lot, 15017 Emerald Coast Parkway, a few minutes after 8:00 last night (Thursday night). He saw two men trying to force their way into a black Mercedes occupied by a woman, and threatening to kill the woman's baby. Berthelot says he ran to the woman's aid, shoved her car door shut, and told her to drive away. The two suspects then attacked Berthelot, hitting him on the head and forcing him into his truck, a white full-size Chevrolet pickup. One of the suspects entered the passenger's side of the truck, and shot one round from a small handgun. Both suspects fled on foot.

The two men are described as Hispanic, who spoke Spanish to each other. One was about five-foot-five, 150 pounds, with dark hair and a thin mustache. He was wearing an oversized quilted camouflage windbreaker with yellow lining. The other man was slightly taller and thinner, with a shaved head. He was wearing a long sleeved red plaid shirt and faded blue jeans.

Anybody who witnessed the event, or who can help identify the two Hispanic men, or the woman in the dark colored 4-door Mercedes with a baby in the back seat, should contact the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office at (850) 651-7400 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at (850) 863-TIPS (863-8477).-30-

for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420