I-Team: Outlaws chapter president and former Hillsborough firefighter was shot

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 20:35:14-04

Several residents heard gun shots about 10:30 PM Tuesday night.
"I heard 2 gunshots and then there was a pause then 3 or 4 more gunshots" one resident tells us.

Residents in the trailer park at hwy 41 and Valroy were stunned when a bleeding man came running through the park pleading for help.

"He was bleeding on the side he said he was shot and to call 911 and that's what I did," a resident tells us.

"He said he thought he'd been targeted," says a resident who wants to remain anonymous.

The I-Team has confirmed the man shot was James Costa a retired Hillsborough Firefighter and President of the Outlaws motorcycle club, an organization law enforcement classify as a "criminal gang".

Costa was taken to a nearby hospital. Hillsborough county deputies are still investigating the case.

The shooting comes just two days after the I-Team uncovered a rise in local violence between motorcycle clubs.

"We believe that it's primarily associated with the Outlaws attempting to establish dominance or maintain dominance," said Capt. Mike Jenkins from the Pasco Sheriff's Office.

Back at the scene of the Costa shooting, sources tell us Clint Walker, a Hillsborough county firefighter and paramedic, responded to the scene after Costa was shot.

Walker was a known Outlaws member before Hillsborough county passed an anti gang policy following our previous investigations.

Sources say when deputies tried to take Costa's leather Outlaws vest, he refused to give it to them, and instead gave it to Walker.

Walker has told us he's no longer an Outlaws member and Costa is like family to him. He wouldn't comment further.

Hillsborough Fire Rescue spokespeople refused to comment.

Only saying, once they receive the full sheriff's report they will review if Walker broke any policies by taking the Outlaws vest.

Deputies are investigating whether Costa was targeted in the shooting.


Jarrod Holbrook is an Emmy and AP Award-winning Investigative Reporter for the ABC Action News I-Team.
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