FROSTPROOF, Fla. - Polk County deputies are being guarded with details about the shooting death of a woman in Frostproof.
However, they are quite clear about the danger posed by the suspect, who was on the loose Tuesday afternoon.
Taiwan Blandin, 30, is an ex-con who spent four years in jail for armed robbery in Hardee County. He is considered armed and dangerous and deputies say they need to find him, quickly.
Investigators have released bits and pieces of what they believe happened Tuesday morning.
They said it appears Blandin was in Fort Meade and shot a person in the foot. Later, deputies said he murdered Peggy Shiering at her home in Frostproof.
The great grandmother and substitute teacher at elementary schools in Frostproof and Fort Meade is known to her neighbors as Miss Peggy.
"God knows she did good for everyone," said neighbor Karen Tickle. "She is welcome in heaven."
A neighbor said they heard a gunshot and then saw a white van, followed by Shiering’s dark red Chevy Cruze, speed down a dirt road near the home.
Sheriff Grady Judd said her car has since spotted on cameras in the Lakeland area.
"You took an innocent person," said Tickle. "A loving person just for your greed. That's what I have to say to him."
Investigators said they later found the van on Perry Avenue in Fort Meade, where someone suffered a gunshot in the leg.
For now, Judd said his deputies need to find Blandin and get him off the streets.
“[Blandin] made the statement to people who directly reported to us, that ‘I am either going to commit suicide or I am gonna commit suicide by cop,’” Judd explained. “We hope he doesn’t choose either of those options. But that’s the dangerous situation we’re in now.”
The dark red 2011 Chevy Cruz, with the Florida license plate number NAG K37, was spotted by surveillance cameras in Lakeland, Auburndale, and Winter Haven earlier Tuesday.
Blandin was described as a black male, 6 feet tall, and weighing 190 pounds.
Anyone who sees the car or Blandin, or knows anything about the incidents in Fort Meade and Frostproof, is asked to contact the Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.