1 found dead after Apopka robbery

James Holcomb dies of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound

Local 6: Morning News at 6a
Local 6: Morning News at 6a

APOPKA, Fla. – A man was pistol-whipped and robbed in Apopka late Sunday by another man who was found dead after a pursuit with Orange County sheriff's deputies, officials said.

James "Brandon" Holcomb, 33, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the incident, which happened around 9:20 p.m. near the 800 block of Wildview Drive in Apopka, according to deputies.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said a man met a woman -- an acquaintance of Holcomb -- in Apopka and got into her car. 

Deputies said the man and woman were talking when Holcomb attacked the man, pistol-whipping and robbing him.  Deputies initially said it was believed two men attacked the victim but later clarified that Holcomb was dropped off by another man who left the area.

The victim told deputies that he saw the woman driving away with Holcomb, according to the Sheriff's Office, which later added that she willingly left with him.

The victim called 911 and Orange County deputies spotted the vehicle in the Mt. Plymouth Road area near the Lake County line, said the Sheriff's Office, which said the vehicle crashed after a short pursuit.

As deputies approached the vehicle, shots were fired in their direction, but no one was hit, officials said.

Holcomb, however, was found dead in the car of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to deputies, who was alone in the car, deputies said.

The Sheriff's Office said the woman was not initially located, and deputies later said she contacted authorities and was cooperating with the investigation.

A couple heading to a store came upon the scene and was forced to run for cover.

Gregory and Melynda Whitt said they drove up on a deputy who blocked off the roadway.

"Once we got up close enough to stop, the cop's yelling for us to turn around, get out of here. My husband's telling the cop, 'I don't have reverse.' Then (the deputy) was like, 'You need to get out of here. I don't care how you get out of here. Get out of here on foot! Run!" Melynda Whitt, who recorded video on her phone, told Local 6.  "We heard gunshots and immediately dropped to the ground."

"You don't expect on a Sunday night, on your way to pick up a gallon of milk, that you're going to ride up on a shootout like that. It was pretty intense," Gregory Whitt said.

The couple eventually made their way to another deputy and stayed with him until things calmed down.  The deputy gave them a ride to their house, and they had to wait until the scene cleared before they could get their truck.

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