LARGO, Fla. -
Deputies thought they were about to apprehend a murder suspect Thursday night, but he ran off and got away.
The murder happened April 5 on Patterson Street in Largo. Paul lives there and heard the gunshot. He then soon realized his neighbor, Terrance Thomas, was dead.
"It blew me away. I couldn't believe it. I mean he was so nice he would sit on everybody's porches and talk to them, and help people," he said.
While Paul says the victim was getting his life together, investigators say Thomas was killed by a man he sold cocaine to.
They say Eddie Jonathan Todd Walker shot Thomas in the head as payback for selling him watered down drugs.
Walker has an extensive criminal history with 21 arrests on 32 separate charges. The Sheriff says Walker always carries a gun and has proved he is a "ruthless" killer.
The Sheriff's Office thought they were about to apprehend Walker Thursday night at the Handy Corner in Largo, but he ran off and got away.
"I'd say he could probably compete with (Usain) Bolt in the Olympics. He's fast. He immediately took his sandals off, he took off his shirt and he was gone," said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
The Sheriff's office got word Walker was going to turn himself in. But that has not happened, so now they are putting out a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. They say that money is coming from drug seizure funds.
"We need to keep Pinellas County safe. We need to get this guy off the street before he does this to somebody else. He needs to be in jail and we need to get him in jail as quick as we can," said Gualtieri.
Back on Patterson Street, Paul says he's got his dog Cody to keep watch, but is still concerned the accused killer is still out there.
"We are going to be on high alert around here. Obviously I'm going to tell the whole neighborhood, so we can be looking out for this guy," said Paul.
Sheriff Gualtieri is involved in a heated primary election that will be contested Tuesday. His opponent is former sheriff, Everett Rice. Gualtieri was asked if the primary had any influence on Monday's announcement. He said that is "nonsense" and this case was driven by the investigators handling the case.
If you have any information on where Eddie Walker is, you can call the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office at (727) 582-8477.
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