Joyce Marie Taylor
Hamilton County Sheriff Harrell Reid came to the aid of long time friend Jerry Whitehead, who is also the sheriff of Union County, as soon as he learned of a shooting spree going on at Pritchett Trucking and other locations in Lake Butler Saturday morning.
Reid said, “they were stretched thin and I went there to offer my support.”
A press release from the Union County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) states that on Saturday, Aug. 24, around 9 a.m., Hubert Allen, Jr., 72, Lake Butler, went on a shooting spree throughout Union County. Allen was a long time employee of Pritchett Trucking, Inc. and went to a location owned by Marvin Pritchett (also owner of Pritchett Trucking) off CR 18A. Allen had an encounter with a former coworker, Rolando Gonzalez-Delgado, 28, and shot and killed him. A short distance away, Allen also shot and killed 80-year-old Marvin Pritchett.
The report states that minutes later, Allen confronted another former employee, Lewis Mabrey Jr., 66, driving a farm tractor at the same location. They exchanged words and Allen fired one shot, striking Mabrey in the left arm and side. Mabrey was rushed to Shands UF by Union County Emergency Medical Services and later underwent surgery for a broken arm and other injuries. He was listed in stable and good condition, according to authorities.
Shortly thereafter, Allen went to Pritchett Trucking at 1050 SE 6 Street in Lake Butler and shot a third coworker, David Griffis, 44, in the stomach. Griffis was rushed to Shands UF and was initially listed in critical condition. On Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 7:39 a.m., Griffis died from his injuries, according to Major Garry Seay from UCSO.
When Allen left Pritchett Trucking he returned to his residence off SE 6th Avenue in Lake Butler and took his own life. UCSO believes Allen acted alone in the shootings, according to the press release. Maj. Seay confirmed by phone on Tuesday afternoon that investigators found a note Allen had written and left at his residence. The note listed the names of his targeted victims. One name on the list, which authorities were not divulging, was a person whom Allen was not able to get to.
Seay also stated that investigators are doing a profile of the medications Allen was taking and trying to determine if they played any part in the incident.
“It’s a tragic thing for our community,” said Seay.
Investigators are interviewing Pritchett Trucking employees and witnesses to determine a motive behind the shootings. UCSO had called in investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to assist with the five different crime scenes, as well as traffic control. Other agencies who assisted were Florida Department of Corrections, Baker, Bradford and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Offices, 8th Circuit Medical Examiner’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
“We ask that you pray for all of the families involved,” said UCSO Sheriff Whitehead. “This is a tragic impact on our community and we will update you as more information is available.”
Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) stated on his Facebook page, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pritchett family and all the victims of this weekend's terrible shooting. I am very honored to have known and spent time with Marvin. He was a great man and Carolyn and I wish his entire family our sincerest condolences.”