WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Two Polk County brothers have been arrested after deputies said the siblings went on a shooting spree in Winter Haven and Auburndale. 

  • Brothers arrested aftre deputies say they were in a stolen truck firing gunshots
  • Shawn Whitten, Brett Crosby facing a slew of charges
  • Multiple shots fired, vehicles struck. No injuries

On Friday evening, deputies arrested 25-year-old Shawn Whitten of Auburndale, and his brother 19-year-old Brett Crosby of Lakeland.

According to authorities, the brothers were driving a stolen pickup truck as they fired several gunshots starting around 7:30 p.m. 

"Thanks to our cooperation with the Auburndale Police Department, a tight perimeter, and people who saw something, and immediately said something, we took these brazen brothers into custody before they killed someone," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. "It is a miracle nobody was shot." 

Shawn Whitten of Auburndale is facing multiple charges. (Polk Co. Sheriff's Office)

As Whitten drove near the intersection of Spirit Lake Road and 4th Street in unincorporated Winter Haven, Crosby fired a gun at a 2001 Chevy Suburban. 

The bullet struck the rear driver's side window. The female driver was not hit.  

A short time later, Whitten was driving westbound on K-Ville Ave at a high rate of speed, and approached a silver Honda Accord being driven by a woman preparing to turn onto Sun Acres Blvd. In the back seat were her three children ages 6 years old, 5 years old, and one year old. Crosby fired a shot towards the victims. The bullet went through the rear window, shattering it. Nobody was struck. 

As Whitten continued to drive westbound on K-Ville at a high rate of speed, he approached a white Chevy Equinox near the entrance to Anchor House, being driven by an adult male. Whitten passed the Equinox, and Crosby fired a shot towards it. The bullet went into the driver's side window, but did not hit the driver. 

Just prior to the shootings, the Auburndale Police Department received calls about someone driving a black pickup truck, waving a firearm.

According to deputies, multiple occupied vehicles were struck by gunfire but there were no injuries. (PCSO)

At 7:42 p.m., authorities  received a call about a single-vehicle crash of a black pickup truck at East Carroll Road and Palmer Road, where the two occupants ran off after the crash.

Deputies responded and during a search, a witness told them the suspects were possibly the same two men who were seen fighting at a house on Palmer Road. The deputies responded to the Palmer Road house, located Whitten, and immediately took him into custody. 

The deputies then went inside a bedroom in the home to locate Crosby. Crosby was located underneath a blanket and unresponsive. Responding PCFR personnel treated Crosby, he regained consciousness, and he was transported to an area hospital. He will be transferred to the Polk County Jail once he is released.

Whitten, who has been to state prison twice, has been charged with:

  • Grand theft of motor vehicle 
  • VOP - Grant theft of motor vehicle 
  • Battery 
  • 6 counts attempted armed felony murder 
  • 2 counts possession of a firearm by a convicted felon 

Crosby is being charged with:

  • 6 counts attempted armed felony murder 
  • Discharging a firearm from a vehicle 


Brett Crosby
Brett Crosby is facing six counts of attempted armed felony murder. (Family image)