A driver shot in Orlando over the weekends in what was believed to have been an incident of “road rage” was actually the unfortunate victim of mistaken identity, police have since learned.
Police in Hillsborough County have arrested a man after the driver shot in Orlando was followed and killed by a stranger, and initially, both the victim and police believed that the incident was one of what is known as road rage — an altercation over driving that escalates to verbal and sometimes physical clashes.
47-year-old Fred Turner Jr. was driving on I-4 in the direction of Orlando Saturday when he spotted a man following him and dialed 911.
Turner, the driver shot in Orlando, told cops at around 3 PM that his eventual assailant had been flashing a handgun, and reported being near the I-75 overpass in Tampa.
According to WFTV, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter says that the driver shot in Orlando was confused and unsettled, telling police that no other incidents had prompted the looming violence.
“The caller stated that he had done nothing to cause someone to follow him.”
The driver shot in Orlando was killed while still on the phone with police in Hillsborough County, and the incident was initially assumed to be a road rage killing.
Turner was shot Saturday, and those who knew the man described as quiet and well-liked were stunned by his death. A neighbor, wishing not to be identified, said to press:
I don’t know why anyone would do that. I mean, he was a nice guy. I don’t see him having any enemies … He stayed to himself. He was a quiet guy. I just can’t believe that someone would just openly, randomly shoot him on I-4. That’s horrible.
But on Monday, police got a break in the case of the driver shot in Orlando, learning that the incident was not a road rage killing at all, but a case of mistaken identity.
St. Cloud resident Jerome Hayes, 48, surrendered to police Monday. Cops say that Hayes had mistaken Turner for a man with whom he’d argued with at a strip club, and that he has a prior felony for failure to maintain proper records at a scrap metal business in Polk County.