Witness to shooting said Jerome Couch, 15, and the 13-year-old victim had “a physical altercation” earlier in the month. Girlfriend of Couch bragged about her role in the shooting while riding a school bus the next morning.

Crestview Police Department investigators have formally charged 15-year-old Jerome Scott Couch Jr. and his 13-year-old girlfriend, Velta Mae-Lynn Chesser, for their roles in a drive-by shooting early Tuesday morning at a city school bus stop.

Couch was charged late Thursday with aggravated battery with a firearm, according to department spokesman Brian Hughes. Chesser was charged as a principle to aggravated battery with a firearm and an accessory after the fact.

Chesser was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Impala stolen from her grandmother and Couch was a passenger in the driver’s side back seat just after 6 a.m. when a 13-year-old boy was fired upon while waiting near the intersection of Williams Avenue and Rayburn Street to catch a bus to Okaloosa Academy, according to a release from Hughes and Police Department affidavits.

The unidentified victim was struck “multiple times,” according to the report. He has been listed in stable condition at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.

The victim’s brother was also at the bus stop when the shooting occurred and identified Couch as the shooter, according to the affidavits. He told officers Couch and the victim had been involved in “a physical altercation” earlier in the month of October.

Couch and Chesser were registered as students at Davidson Middle School. The police report states “six different students” heard Chesser brag about her role in the shooting while riding a bus to school the morning after it occurred.

A surveillance tape obtained from Okaloosa County School District contains audio of Chesser “making numerous statements in relation to the shooting,” the police report said.

“Chesser can be heard stating, ‘I was driving off at the same time.’ ‘He was going to shoot him in the head; I was like nah shoot at the ground.’ ‘He was like Velta turn around.’ ‘I was driving while he was shooting.’ ”

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office had earlier this week charged Chesser with grand theft of a motor vehicle and Couch with three crimes, including being a minor in possession of a firearm and unlicensed carrying of a concealed weapon.

The Crestview PD reports state an Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office deputy “observed Couch drop a black, semi-automatic handgun … onto the ground” after locating him and Chesser with the stolen vehicle at Allen Park on McClelland Street the morning the shooting took place.

The affidavits filed in the case say Couch told police he had obtained the gun from a “white male” he’d met with on Aplin Road. Reports state the gun, a 9mm Springfield XD, was identified as having been stolen from a vehicle the day before the shooting. Couch told officers he’d practiced firing the weapon before the shooting took place.

Reports indicate a third, unidentified person, had spent some time riding in the stolen car with Couch and Chesser prior to the shooting incident.  

Couch is the son of Jerome Couch-Parrish, who was charged on April 22, 2012 with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his 28-year-old ex-wife, Alissa Couch.

Couch-Parrish, now 38, had an extensive history of domestic violence and had entered Alissa Couch’s home in violation of a no-contact order on the day he stabbed her to death.

Couch-Parrish took a plea agreement to avoid the death penalty and is currently serving a life sentence at Cross City Correctional Institution.