The chief of a volunteer fire department in Florida is accused of fatally shooting a business owner because the victim owed him money, authorities said. Brian Keith Easterling, 52, was taken into custody earlier Monday at his home in Holt, Florida and is awaiting extradition from the nearby county of Okaloosa, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said.
He was charged with premeditated murder, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Easterling is chief of the Baker Fire District, a volunteer fire department in the Florida Panhandle. The Baker Fire District’s assistant chief Mark McKenzie said Easterling was suspended and he would assume Easterling’s role.
McKenzie said Easterling has volunteered for the district for nearly 20 years, and had been serving as the chief for 10, WKRG reported.
The 63-year-old shop owner, who was not identified by officials, was found shot to death inside his business in Pensacola.
Surveillance video from the shop captured the killing, the sheriff’s office said.
WKRG reported that Okaloosa deputies assisted the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office by serving a warrant to Easterlings’ home late Sunday night. Deputies can be heard ordering the occupants of a home to “exit the residence with your hands in the air.”
Easterling went into custody without incident, the station reported.