Surrounded by an eight foot concrete wall topped with razor wire, Oakwood TerraceApartments is known for crime. "It used to be wild back in the day though," says former resident Willie Lee McIntyre. The sheriff's office says it still is. "It is one of our hotspots. It's known for criminal activity," says Deputy Matt Baxter.
Wednesday night three deputies approached a group gathered near the back of the complex. Two of them took off running and a foot chase began. "As they rounded a building," says Baxter, "one of the suspects shot and struck one of the officers in the stomach area."
Deputy Ryan Robinson survived. He was wearing his vest and after a short stay in the hospital is home. "The way the vest works it actually absorbs the energy and it spreads it out. It doesn't impact it, it prevents it from going in the skin so it leaves a giant bruise and welping. It is still painful."
Shooting a deputy was just the start of this mini crime spree. Deputies say once they shot the officer the suspects doubled back and stole his car.
"It was stolen while they were chasing the shooter," says Baxter and later recovered a few blocks away.
McIntyre says crime here is nothing like it once was. "I was staying with this dude that got killed out there a long time ago. This boy came up and shot the boy in the back. The boy ran up there the boy fell and he shot him in the top of the head."
A scenario law enforcement says is not unique in what is still one of the most dangerous communities of Escambia County.
Suspects in both the shooting and the theft of the police car are still on the loose. The sheriff's office ask anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 850-433-STOP (7867).