Newspaper deliveryman who shot man in self defense: "I'd do it again if I had to"

Police say drunk man shot at carriers

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Delivering the Sunday morning newspaper turned into a scary gunfight for a Lakeland Ledger carrier and her boyfriend.

The two got caught in the middle of a family fight.

Tiffany Simo and her boyfriend, Doug Romeo, were delivering papers on West Lake Cannon Terrace when someone started shooting near their car.

"I didn't know what it was," Romeo said. "At first, I thought firecrackers, until he came up to the window and I actually saw him pointing the pistol at us."

Police identified the gunman as Brian Dickey II.  They say he followed the newspaper carriers onto the street and opened fire.

"I told him, 'You need to go away.  You don't want to do this.'  I kept telling him," said Romeo.

But, Romeo said, Dickey didn't listen.

From the passenger seat, Romeo whipped out his handgun that he legally carries.

With the barrel about six inches from his girlfriend's face, he fired three shots through the window, hitting Dickey all three times.

Witnesses say Dickey ran back to his car and drove off, while Romeo stayed back and nervously explained himself to a 9-1-1 dispatcher.

"I gave him a chance to back off.  I gave him plenty of chances to back off," he said in the call.  "I felt like I had no choice in the matter."

Listen to the 911 call for help here.

Minutes later, Police got a call from Dickey's home where he ran off to, badly inured.  He suffered wounds in the chest and shoulder, but will fully recover and end up in jail.

His brother, Robert, told ABC Action News that they were fighting, and Brian was really drunk and confused.

"(Brian) went up to the car and asked where's my brother, he was looking for me.  He asked 'where's my brother.'  He wasn't trying to hurt nobody," he said.

He clearly picked the wrong guy to mess with.

"With his conduct, it would have been very appropriate if Mr. Romeo had shot him dead right there," said Chief Gary Hester with the Winter Haven Police Department.

Romeo says he wishes he didn't have to shoot somebody's son on Mother's Day, but doesn't regret it either.

"I'd do it again if I had to," he said.

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