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Man arrested for attempted murder outside of convenience store in Ruskin

Posted at 6:22 AM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-12 11:22:50-05

RUSKIN, Fla. — A man was arrested on Wednesday after he reportedly fired four rounds from a handgun into the back of a car outside of convenience store in Ruskin.

Hillsborough County deputies arrested 19-year-old Derrick Gilghrest Wednesday night and charged him with the attempted murder of Earl Williams, 22, stemming from a shooting incident earlier in the day in Ruskin.

HCSO says that Williams was in his black 2012 Cadillac STS in front of Fat Boys Convenience Store, located at 601 41 Highway North, when a 2015 White Ford Explorer pulled up behind him and intentionally blocked him in. This happened around 10:55 a.m.

Deputies say that Gilghrest, a passenger in the vehicle carrying three other individuals, fired four rounds from a 40 caliber pistol into Williams vehicle striking him once in the back. The driver, identified as Coty Paulk, of Ruskin, reportedly lowered his window and pointed a handgun at Williams as well. The victim told police Paulk fired his gun. 

Williams was transported to a local area hospital where he is in critical but stable condition.

Gilghrest, Paulk and the rest of the individuals in the Explorer fled the scene and were later found and detained at a home on Shared Passion Court in Ruskin.  

After HCSO obtained a search warrant, detectives found two handguns in the home.

Gilghrest was arrested at 10:55 p.m. and charged with Attempted Murder.

The witnesses in the vehicle initially denied involvement in this incident, but stated their involvement post Miranda. Paulk denied any involvement in the incident. Gilghrest told police he was in the car and was given the .40 caliber handgun by Paulk, who ordered him to shoot the victim. Paulk was also arrested and charged with premeditated first degree murder. 

This is an active and ongoing investigation with no further charges pending at this time. This is all the information available.

Anyone with any information in reference to this incident is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200. You may also send an anonymous tip from a smartphone using HCSOSheriff app available on both android and apple products. To be eligible for a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at or send a mobile tip using their P3 Tips Mobile application, which is a free download for iPhones, iPads and Droids. You must call Crime Stoppers first to be eligible for a reward.