Deputies Attempt To Arrest Donkey Shooter; J.B. Continues To Improve

May 6, 2009

Escambia County deputies are searching for 17-year old Kyle Mason Driver in connection with the weekend shooting of a mother donkey.

Sgt. Kevin Vickrey of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department said that deputies attempted to locate Driver at several different locations Tuesday evening, including a parent’s home, but they were unsuccessful in making an arrest.

Anyone that knows the whereabouts of Kyle Mason Driver of the 1400 block of River Annex Road, Cantonment, is asked to call the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department at 436-9620 or Crime Stoppers at 433-STOP (7867).

The sheriff’s department told Tuesday afternoon that it usually takes 7-10 days for a judge to sign warrants under ordinary circumstances. In this case, a judge signed the warrants late Tuesday afternoon, and deputies headed out early Tuesday evening in an attempt to locate the suspect.

Deputies said Driver has confessed to deputies that he shot a donkey on River Annex Road near Jacks Branch Road late Saturday night. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Department says that he will be charged with felony cruelty to animals causing death, using a weapon during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a person under 18.

A witness has given the sheriff’s department information on the crime and a .22 caliber weapon used in the shooting.

Now three days old, little J.B. the donkey continues to improve, according to Diane Lowery of Panhandle Equine Rescue. Tuesday afternoon, he was outside and running around and kicking up his heels the yard of Lindley Barden, his adoptive mom.  He is still being bottle feed by Barden, PER’s secretary, about every hour. The two continue to sleep next to each other in her hallway so that they are always close.

Lowery said it will be about seven days before we know if  J.B. is in the clear; he missed vital antibodies by never receiving milk from his mother. After seven days, she said his immune system will likely be strong enough for his survival. He did receive the antibodies through an IV in his neck on Sunday. It’s not clear if J.B. was born just before or just after his mother’s death.

Deputies located and stopped a small pickup truck in the area following the incident. They were unable to locate a firearm in the vehicle and were not able to make an arrest at the time, according to deputies. One of the two juveniles in the vehicle was Driver.

Panhandle Equine Rescue’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and provide adoption services for abused, neglected and abandoned equines. PER is authorized by the Escambia County court system to investigate equine reports in the county.

Donations are being accepted to help pay the vet bill or anyone interested in sponsoring J.B.. Checks or money orders can be sent to PER, P.O. Box 777, Cantonment, FL 32533 or you can visit for more information.

To read previous stories about J.B., click here and here.

Pictured above: Baby donkey J.B., pictured when he was less than 24 hours old, is fighting for survival after the shooting death of his mother Sunday morning. exclusive photo, click to enlarge. Pictured below: J.B. looks for his mother.


14 Responses to “Deputies Attempt To Arrest Donkey Shooter; J.B. Continues To Improve”

  1. Rodney on May 9th, 2009 7:33 pm

    kyle you must be young and for sure thats no crime, ,And good for you for apparently being responsible when you got your gun, I admit it was not all that uncommon in my neighbor hood , well they two young boys who had guns are no longer living, But I know this is your friend, but he committed a terrible crime, With time , you will learn more responsabilty of life, and have more to care for. You learn this you will learn such things as well I have been there and its water under the bridge, when you find somthing you may care about, a dog, or cat or your prize truck, and when some one destroys what you loved and care for, Then you will understand what some of these folks are feeling, and you may realize the charges are not such BS, You may disgaree with me now but many years later you will, Its part of the growing older . Your friend will have to pay, and its best for him to show as much remorse as he can, and realize taking life in such a mean way is wrong, You can not even confuse this with hunting who hunts deer witha 22,, But even that you eat what you hunt,. Be there for your friend and learn from his mistake…

  2. kyle on May 9th, 2009 3:04 pm

    ha its funny how yall think its such a bad thing to have a gun at 17 i got my first gun at 11 FROM MY PARENTS he likes to hunt so they bought him a gun im close friends with kyle and i know he didnt do this on purpose. sure he should learn from shooting it aimlessly but he doesnt deserve all the bs charges they are throwing against him

  3. Kevin on May 9th, 2009 10:46 am

    I gotta go with God. AN EYE FOR AN EYE! When they find this worthless, waste of skin and air to society…. shoot the kid!

  4. WorkingMom on May 9th, 2009 6:59 am

    The boy needs to face the music now. If you “google” Jeffrey Dahmer you will see what cruelty to animals can progress to. Don’t be foolish enough to underestimate the combination of teenage testosterone and weapons.

    I don’t understand the comments “oh maybe he thought it was a deer…?” What the heck oh so I can come on your property and shoot what I like and claim I thought it was a deer?

    Lets see in Escambia County we like to bury dogs alive up to their necks, drag donkeys down major roadways, shoot pregnant animals and I know there was another horse shooting (one or more?) on private property in Cantonment but thats o.k. cause the Bible gives us domain over the amimals. You can’t blaim the media for reporting this. Fact is these things happen here.

    Stay on the subject. Teenager shot animal. Teenager pays price.

  5. Rodney on May 8th, 2009 4:02 pm

    I do not understand, what child who was openly murdered got less attention than this donkey has gotten ? And if it was child he would be looking at life, right now he probably looking at few months at Camp Vaction..
    And bottle feeding is no big deal, I can guarnete you have not bottle feed as many as i have, If not careful he could get bloat and host of other issues. Its dedication and time consuming for somthing it did not have to be done.
    I do know to some folks its just a dum donkey, or its just a Stinky goat, or a stupid dog, or 4 legged rat( Cat).
    But to me Proverbs 12 ;10 states so much for us to think about. This poor donkey has no one to speak out except a group of dedicated people.
    Granted I do not think this Child , 17 years old , more like 12 yrs old, should not be punished, I think hard work could fix him up, you know crack dawn, to sun set hard work, to build some decent charcter in this young child .
    When i was yound going to Tate high, its was not uncommon for anyone not have hunting rifle. I am no suprised he had one.
    He is not to smart . No Charter, and lack of compassion, At least i will give him that he had felt guilt as he did turn himself in.
    I hope JB makes it… Its shame were has the compassion gone ?

  6. Concerned parent on May 7th, 2009 3:09 am

    WHY did this kid have a gun in the first place? How many of you who are parents let your kids drive around with shotguns in their vehicles? I certainly don’t and I doubt many others do.

    I’d like to know who gave him the gun.

  7. curious on May 6th, 2009 10:10 pm

    Was he trying to night hunt and thought he shot a deer or did he know it was a donkey? Either way it was illegal.

  8. steve manring on May 6th, 2009 4:41 pm

    this boy should get treated like an adult…he is 17 and should know better…this just make me sick to think that a defencless anamal could be treated this way….an eye for an eye

  9. pe on May 6th, 2009 4:15 pm

    This boy deserves the most harsh sentence possible. I’ll be surprised if he gets it though.

  10. dbg on May 6th, 2009 2:31 pm

    Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mean “”. This is our area, our neighbors, our community.
    I am talking about the world news, other news stations.
    I like the fact that this site is doing such a great job on OUR COMMUNITY.
    I do not like the fact, that I can turn on the news and still see stories on tv about this little donkey, but can’t even find any new updates on the missing child “Haleigh Cummings”. Or the girl found murdered in the dumpster! does a great job. This is our community. I want to know follow-ups on this story to see what progresses and what he gets.
    I think this boy should be punished. But what he is being charged with is probably going to carry a 5 yr or more sentence.
    CRUELTY to Humans or Animals should tug at everyone’s heartstrings. And I say if this kid has a record of this kind of cruelty, then get him off the street.

  11. Al on May 6th, 2009 1:15 pm

    On one hand you are correct, dbg….. child murderers / etc do not get nearly what they deserve. There my agreement with you stops.
    Why shouldn’t there be press about this? The public has expressed interest – orphaned animals always tug at the heart strings. Public interest in this case does not mean we are coldhearted individuals who “channel surf” past the other horrible crimes in this mixed up world.

    I don’t know the finer legal points…. so I have no idea why he wasn’t arrested on the spot.

    I helped raise an orphaned foal once… she did ok, but there are no guarantees with a little one without the antibodies from mom.

    You seem so concerned that the young “man” may be punished harshly – that is awfully short sighted. Get away with one felony shooting – maybe try his hand at another, only a human? Nah – bust him to the max available for animal cruelty (like a year??? poor baby)

  12. dbg on May 6th, 2009 12:38 pm

    Something weird is going on here.
    #1, IF this boy confessed, why wasn’t he arrested on the spot? This is very weird to me.
    #2, I feel sorry for the moma donkey that was shot, but the baby is fine. I have raised so many animals on a bottle, this is no big deal. But this donkey is getting more media, and attention than missing children, or murders.

    This donkey is going to be fine, as long as he is fed.

    People should worry more about the 17 yr old that he is going to get a harder sentence because of all this media. The community will go nuts if he gets off with less than a jail sentence.
    Don’t get me wrong, he should be punished. This was a senseless, mean thing to do. But I don’t feel that a boy that age should be facing all those charges over a donkey. People get less than that for killing CHILDREN.

  13. DJ Sheffield on May 6th, 2009 11:15 am

    It is ashame that Kyle will confess to shooting the donkey, but then runs to elude procesuction for his STUPIDITY! Let’s just pray and hope that he DOES NOT get Judge LINDA NOBLES. Otherwise he will walk as she has allowed several other teens in murder cases. The best thing Kyle can do at this point is turn himself in and face the music……..then leave the area and never return.

  14. blonde16 on May 6th, 2009 9:43 am

    Poor Donkey!

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