MACCLENNY, Fla. – Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the kidnapping and attempted murder trial of Ricky Tisdale, who is accused of abducting and shooting his ex-wife.
Tara Evans had just returned to her Macclenny home on June 30, 2019, after a night out with her sister-in-law.
“I went ahead to use the bathroom and, at that moment, my door closed and my lights turned on,” Evans said. “It was my ex-husband. He was standing behind my door and he had on gloves. He had my gun in his hand. He was barefooted and he had a look of evil on his face. He told me tonight is the night he was going to take my life. He was going to kill me that night.”
Over the next several hours, Evans said he tried to end her life several times.
According to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, Tisdale tied up the second woman, Shauna Mills, and took Evans at gunpoint.
“The only thing I could think of was to get out of the house and try to go get help,” Mills told News4Jax shortly after the incident. “The only thing I could do was to roll, so I just rolled and I would stop, say a prayer, roll again, stop and say a prayer.”
Mills rolled all the way to a neighbor’s house to have them call 911.
By then, Tisdale had Evans in his car and was on his way to Tampa.
“I was looking for a way out. How can I ease out of my back door,” Evans said. “I looked up and he and I made eye contact in the rearview mirror and he said to me,’ ‘You think I am playing with you?’ And he said to get in the front seat. I couldn’t move the way I wanted to move. He ended up pulling me into the front seat by my hair.”
The worst was yet to come.
“He pointed the gun at me and he told me he would blow my head off and that’s when I felt the impact in my face and I heard the gunshot,” she said. “I felt my face just explode, literally, and I could feel the blood pouring down my face and I couldn’t see, except from out of the corner of my left eye, just a little.”
But she was still alive and determined to get away.
“I reached for the door and opened it, but my seatbelt was on and it started making dingy noises,” Evan said. “He reached over me and closed the door and he said, ‘Why won’t you die? That’s when he took the gun and placed it to my left thigh and he fired another shot.”
Evan said she could feel the inside of her left leg ripping apart and heard him calmly say, “I want you to die.”
“He was hitting me in the face. I could feel with each hit the blood was just splattering,” Evans said.
She realized it was going to be a long night but was determined to stay alive. Finally, Tisdale turned the car around and returned to Baker County where he was arrested and Evans was taken to a hospital.
Evans had several surgeries and spent more than 60 days in the hospital and a rehab facility.
“That was my six or seven hours of terror,” Evans said. “God got me through and I am here today. I am here today as a domestic violence survivor. I am a warrior.”
In addition to attempted murder and kidnapping, Tisdale has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, violation of a domestic violence injunction and home invasion.
Resources for domestic violence victims are available throughout Northeast Florida:
- Hubbard House (Baker and Duval counties): hubbardhouse.org or 904-354-3114
- Family Life Center (Flagler County): familylifecenterflagler.org or 386-437-3505
- Micah’s Place (Nassau County): micahsplace.org or 904-225-9979
- Betty Griffin Center (St. Johns County): bettygriffincenter.org or 904-824-1555
- Quigley House (Clay County): quigleyhouse.org or 904-284-0061
- Lee Conlee House (Putnam County): leeconleehouse.org or 386-325-3141
- Peaceful Paths (Bradford, Alachua & Union counties): peacefulpaths.org or 352-377-8255