Arrest made in weekend I-4 shooting

TAMPA - BREAKING UPDATE: The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in connection to Saturday's shooting death on I-4.



Attorney Nicholas Matassini said his client, 48-year-old Jerome Edward Hayes, turned himself in around 11 a.m. Monday morning. 

Matassini said Hayes contacted him on Sunday.  Matassini went on to say he escorted Hayes to the Orient Road Jail where he surrendered and turned over a gun and his Ford Taurus.

So far, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has only said that an arrest has been made.

A news conference has been scheduled for 3:30 p.m. when more details are expected.

Original Story:

Investigators still have no suspects or persons of interest following the weekend shooting death of a motorist on Interstate 4 east of Tampa.

47-year-old Fred William Turner, Jr. of Orlando was shot while he was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.  He told the operator that he was being followed and had done nothing to provoke the situation.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies say Turner called 911 around 3 p.m. Saturday after he left a business near the intersection of North 50th Street and East Columbus Drive.

"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 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 he was shot, Turner pulled to the side of Interstate 4 where he died. The suspect driver 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 appeared to be road rage. Witnesses were still being interviewed on Sunday and detectives were trying to determine the circumstances 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.

Turner was a former Clearwater resident who worked in the Orlando area.

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 the Florida Highway Patrol.

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.
 
Neel was hit in the chest. His truck ended up crashing. He did not survive.

"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.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments