Killing spree ends as gunman accidentally run over by truck
A shooting rampage that left three people dead and one seriously hurt on Friday night in Florida would have claimed at least one more victim were it not for a passing driver who accidentally ran over the shooter, incapacitating him.
George Mason III, 42, allegedly snapped before gunning down his 81-year-old grandmother, brother and the mother of his two children at their Brooksville home.
A driver who didn’t see Mason in the darkness smashed into the convicted felon, breaking his leg, arm and neck, before he could finish off his wounded half-brother Gabriel Taylor.
Brooksville police Chief George Turner told the Tampa Bay Times that the driver inadvertently saved lives.
‘He hit a murderer who was on a rampage,’ Turner said. ‘That truck driver, he was just a guy driving through the area, but he probably saved lives…He took out the shooter who was obviously hell bent on shooting people.’
Unfortunately the car did not come soon enough to save Mason’s grandmother Jannie V. Taylor, sibling Ralph Ray Peyton, 29, or the mother of his children Tarasha Townsend, 37.
All three died at the scene. Gabriel Taylor found bleeding in a driveway and was rushed to a hospital.
He’s now undergone surgery for his injuries, which included a gunshot wound to the head.
Mason is also recovering, but as of the weekend was heavily sedated and under guard.
Police said the motive remained unknown.
‘I don’t know if we’ll ever really know what happened. Only thing we can say for sure is all these folks knew each other,’ Chief Turner told WTSP.
Neighbors in the community, while unaccustomed to such shocking crimes, were less surprised about who among them allegedly ended up shattering the neighborhood’s peace of mind.
‘He was crazy as hell. He’s been crazy all his life.’ neighbor Charles Townsend told WFLA. ‘There’s more to that, but I’m not going to say. ‘
Mason has a lengthy arrest record and has been jailed previously on charges that include battery of a police officer as well as drug posession and trafficking.
He’s now charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.