TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. -- Two armed and dangerous fugitives wanted out of Alleghany County, North Carolina, were arrested in Treasure Island on Saturday.
- Two armed fugitives out of NC found in Treasure Island
- Donald Billings & Alton Smoot arrested, charged
- Billings, Smoot accused of shooting at NC deputies
Detectives said Donald Billings, 50, and Alton Smoot, 26, are accused of shooting at Alleghany County deputies during a traffic stop on Saturday, Aug. 11.
Billings and Smoot were able to flee from N.C. deputies after abandoning their truck and stealing a Chevrolet Tahoe.
On Aug. 17, Pinellas County deputies were notified that Billings and Smoot were likely in Pinellas County. Detectives learned that Billings has an ex-girlfriend, Tiffany McCord, 34, who lives at 9921 Gulf Boulevard in Treasure Island, and on Aug. 18, they located Smoot in the area and took him into custody.
During the investigation, detectives learned that Billings was inside the apartment armed with a machete, a handgun, a .223 caliber AR-15 rifle, and a pipe bomb that he made using black power, metal, and a detonator cord.
Witnesses told detectives that Billings stated he was not going back to prison and would shoot it out with police before shooting himself.
After several attempts to get Billings to cooperate and come out of the apartment, the SWAT team prepared to make entry. As they were attempting to enter the residence, a fire broke out in the apartment and fire crews were called to put out the flames.
Once the fire was out, deptuies were able to make their way inside where they found Billings, who was severely burned, lying on the floor with two AR-15 magazines in his pocket. Billings was transported to Tampa General Hospital.
Billings was charged with warrants out of Alleghany County, North Carolina, for one count of Attempted 1st Degree Murder on Law Enforcement, one count of Felony Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder on Law Enforcement, and Possession of Firearm by Felon.
Smoot was charged with warrants out of Alleghany County, North Carolina, for one count of Attempted 1st Degree Murder on Law Enforcement, one count of Felony Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder on Law Enforcement, one count of Aggravated Assault with Gun, one count of Aggravated Assault with a Weapon and one count of Fleeing and Eluding Law Enforcement.
"These guys are bad people and they were engaged in activity where they were willing to shoot it out with a cop." "We are very fortunate that no one was hurt and no law enforcement were hurt," said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
Residents throughout the Treasure Island neighborhood were on edge. Many were asked to stay inside Saturday evening and others were asked to evacuate.
Brian Makowski and his family stayed in their home across the street from 6 p.m. until Sunday morning.
"We were scared. We didn't know what was going on," Makowski said. "We heard that they caught the folks and so that's what's most important -- that we're safe again because it was obviously a scary event last night."