The man who was shot and killed on I-4 while he was on the phone with 911 dispatchers because he was being followed has been identified as Fred William Turner, Jr., 47, of Orlando. A search for a suspect continued Sunday.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies say Turner called 911 around 3 p.m. Saturday after some type of confrontation near the intersection of North 50th Street and East Columbus Drive, about five miles west of I-4 in Tampa.
"While on the phone, the caller stated that the vehicle following him had earlier pulled up next to his vehicle and someone displayed what appeared to be a semiautomatic weapon to him," Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.
Turner told dispatchers he was getting onto I-4 and heading to the Orlando area. He said he was still being pursued and was concerned before the shooting occurred.
"At some point, for unknown reasons, the occupant, or occupants, of one vehicle fired multiple shots at the other vehicle," Carter said. The victim was on the phone with 911 when dispatchers heard multiple shots.
The shooting occurred at some point near where the victim's vehicle came to a stop on the interstate, on eastbound I-4 under I-75, said Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee.
After being shot, the victim pulled to the side of Interstate 4 where he died. The suspect fled. It is not known if there were others in the suspect's vehicle at the time of the shooting.
Law enforcement officials in the area are looking for a gray, newer model Ford Taurus with tinted windows.
"The caller stated that he had done nothing to cause someone to follow him," Carter said.
Gee said the case looks to be road rage, but added that witnesses are still being interviewed and detectives are working to determine exactly what happened leading up the shooting.
"We're going to have to reconstruct that from the 911 tapes," Gee said, "but we know that we have the shooting apparently on the tape."
Carter said detectives and deputies walked the interstate to look for evidence. Detectives were seen reconstructing another part of the scene in the middle of the interstate later Saturday evening, using the victim's vehicle.
Traffic was diverted before the Interstate 75 exit for nearly eight hours, but reopened around 11 p.m.
HCSO is leading the shooting death investigation, with the assistance of FHP.
Gee notes similarities to 2005 murder
Saturday's shooting is close to where another unsolved shooting occurred in 2005. David Neel was shot and killed on March 6, 2005 on Interstate 75, while he was heading to the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, between the Fowler Avenue exit and Interstate 4. Deputies say someone shot through the driver's side door of his Ford F-250.
"We're literally within a couple of hundred yards of where that occurred," Gee said Saturday.
His family recently announced a $25,000 reward for information in his case.
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