Family reportedly held hostage by modern day “Bonnie and Clyde” recall incident

Local News

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WIAT) — The family reportedly held hostage by the modern day “Bonnie and Clyde” recalled their experience after Blake Fitzgerald and Brittany Harper allegedly robbed and kidnapped their way through Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

The Gunnells were the last people to be be held hostage by the suspects.

“Am I OK? No. (laughs) No. I’m not OK. I’ll be OK,” April Gunnell said.

April and Ian Gunnell say Blake Fitzgerald and Brittany Harper sought refuge inside their home, forcing their way in with a gun.

“There was a mass amount of anger for them coming into my house. and taking us. and putting us in that situation,” April said. “It was awful.”

But this was not the hostile Bonnie and Clyde one would expect, based on news report.

April says Harper started comforting her 2-year-old daughter.

“[She] kept saying, ‘it’s OK. It’s OK. I know you’re frightened.'”

Ian said things began to calm down.

“They were telling us why they were here,” he said. “They were on the run, in trouble, needed somewhere to stay right now.”

“They got very personal with us,” April recalled.

“They told us about them,” Ian agreed.

“It was one of those situations where you become comfortable with your captive,” April said.

The Gunnells said the couple’s thought drifted to love ones; they said they used their phones to call family back in Missouri to say goodbye.

“There was no illusion,” Ian said. “They were in a bad place and they knew things were gonna go bad. How and where it went bad? Those were the decisions they were making.”

The fugitives decided to run more than two hours later in the Gunnell’s red truck.

They didn’t get very far.

“I cried, a lot,” April said. “I don’t feel hatred, I feel sorrow. Absolutely.”

Harper is facing a long list of charges, tied to what she’s accused of doing to the Gunnells.

The state attorney’s office is still deciding whether to have a bond hearing for her Saturday at the hospital where she’s being treated.

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