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3 Die, 3 Injured in Shootout Between Feuding Families

August 7, 1988

MARIANNA, Fla. (AP) _ A shootout across a dirt road between two feuding families Saturday left three brothers dead and three other people wounded, authorities said.

The Collins and Johnson families ″just didn’t get along,″ said Capt. John Dennis of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Johnny McDaniel said he had been aware of the feud.

″We had been trying to keep things calmed down, and about 3 o’clock (Saturday) morning it just turned for the worse,″ McDaniel said.

The Johnson family had lived in the area for many years, while the Collins family moved in across the dirt road two years ago. The Collinses live in a group of three trailers, while the Johnsons live in a house.

The feud began when someone in the Johnson family reported the Collinses to the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, a Collins family member said.

Diana Collins, widow of one of those killed, said the shootout involved about 15 people on the Johnson side against four Collins brothers and their wives.

Rifles, shotguns and pistols were used in the shootout, Dennis said. Investigators were still at the scene Saturday night.

Romana Salinas, a friend of the Collins family, was charged with resisting arrest, but no other charges had been filed, authorities said.

″We’re just trying to put the facts together at this time to determine what was homicide and what was self-defense,″ Dennis said.

Sheriff’s deputies were called twice to disturbances at the families’ homes late Friday and early Saturday, Dennis said. Deputies arrived Friday night to find members of the two families arguing. Those involved were separated and sent back to their own homes.

Around 2:15 a.m. Saturday, the sheriff’s department received a second call from the Johnson family, Dennis said.

″We got troubles,″ the caller told the dispatcher.

Deputies arrived to find Madison Collins, 32, and Herman Collins, 34, lying dead in the road. A third brother, Lawrence Collins, 36, died while being taken to Jackson County Hospital, authorities said.

Laughton Collins, 44, Carolyn Collins, 36, and Robert Johnson Jr., 32, were wounded, sheriff’s officers and hospital officials said.

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