More details emerge in stabbing

Posted on January 6, 2017 by Mat Pellegrino

Late last week, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office released more details about the stabbing death of 18-year-old Daniel “Jeb” Bubanas, which occurred in Midway back on Dec. 16.
As of press time, no arrests have been made in relation to the stabbing, but the local sheriff’s office has noted that they are still collecting evidence in the case and are still reaching out to individuals who may have been at the crime scene when it occurred that Friday night.
Almost 2 dozen adults and teenagers were questioned following the stabbing of Bubanas, and law enforcement revealed that two other individuals were injured during the apparent scuffle that night, including Navarre resident Cole Tolbert, 17, who was reported as having been stabbed in his abdomen and also had a cut on his head, according to the report.
The other individual who was injured that night, who has not been identified, was treated for his injuries at a local hospital.
According to the heavily redacted SRCSO offense report, law enforcement was dispatched to an area known as “the power lines” in Midway near the intersection of Bergren Road and River Birch Road in regards to a stabbing at around 10:37 p.m. that day.
Upon arriving on the scene, the report indicated that numerous people were seen fleeing from the area, and a perimeter was quickly set up by other sheriff’s deputies to keep people on scene.
After learning that individuals had been stabbed, a staging area was set up at Liberty Church on Gulf Breeze Parkway while the investigation was underway.
According to the report, “the power lines” is an area in Midway that teenagers and adults often go to on the weekends to party or drink. That particular night, dozens of locals had gathered at the power lines to host a bonfire.
The report showed that several teenagers and adults were interviewed that night, some as young at 17 and as old as 47.
When deputies arrived on scene, they were flagged down by an individual in a pickup truck who stated that one of the stabbing victims, later identified as Bubanas, was in the back of his pickup truck.
Bubanas was noted as having a stab wound to his sternum, and upon arrival by EMS, Bubanas was in cardiac arrest. He was later transported to Gulf Breeze Hospital where he passed away at 11:20 p.m.
The incident report indicated that numerous people were trying to stop Bubanas from bleeding out and deputies assisted in tending to the man’s wounds before EMS arrived on scene.
Tolbert was located in one of the numerous pickup trucks on scene and deputies were able to get him into an ambulance to be transported to a local hospital. They later learned that Tolbert had to undergo emergency surgery due to the stab wounds he acquired.
Once a perimeter was set up, deputies started conducting road blocks on the property to keep individuals from leaving the crime scene. One witness, who was stopped and secured in a patrol vehicle, stated that Bubanas and several other individuals who were gathered there that night started fighting earlier in the evening. The individual stated that Bubanas was fighting a “country boy” earlier in the night and that shortly after the fight, the witness heard people crying and walked over to see Bubanas on the ground with a stab wound.
The witness stated that after hearing Bubanas had been stabbed, he attempted to flee the scene.
The witness was not able to identify the man that stabbed Bubanas, but stated he had long blonde hair and weighed approximately 160 pounds. The SRSO stated they were able to locate that individual, who they have yet to identify, and that he was questioned about the stabbing. That individual has not been arrested as of press time.
The incident report painted a picture of chaos that night as some individuals tried to stop Bubanas from bleeding out, while others jumped in their vehicles and fled down the many dirt trails that surround the local party spot to avoid running into law enforcement.
Many of the individuals who were stopped by deputy road blocks were instructed to go to Liberty Church to be questioned.
The Northwest Florida Trauma Intervention Program sent numerous volunteers to the scene to help with those who were grieving.
A third victim later fled to Tiger Point Park and was treated for his injuries after being questioned by deputies.
Local law enforcement is still trying to piece together what happened that night, and is urging anyone who may have been at the bonfire that night to come forward to make a statement.
“We know there were many individuals at this incident and we are looking for anyone who may have captured videos of that evening. Anyone with information is asked to contact our Major Crimes Unit at (850) 983-1230,” said Sgt. Rich Aloy, Public Information Officer for the SRSO. “Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous can contact the Santa Rosa County Crime Stoppers at and submit pictures or videos directly through the website.”
Bubanas recently got engaged and started work as an electrician. Many knew Bubanas as an avid fisherman who frequented the Navarre Beach Pier during the week. The 18-year-old left behind a 3-month-old child.
Since the incident, the community has rallied together to help the Bubanas family by raising over $15,000 alone on a GofundMe page. On Dec. 23, local business owners and managers including James Dabney of East River Smokehouse, John Spofford of Cactus Flower, the Rolinson Brothers of Ye Olde Brewery, the Mobley and Walters families of Johnny Huston’s and their staff members stepped up to feed the family and friends of Jeb Bubanas at the Holley Assembly of God.
If you would like to make a contribution to the Bubanas family, visit