Road rage — or something else? That's the question now confronting investigators as the FBI has leaped into the interstate manhunt for the Saturday night murderer of 28-year-old Maine vacationer Timothy Davison, police said in a Sunday press conference covered by ABC News.
Davison was making the 1,400-mile drive home to Poland, Maine, from Orlando, Florida, where he had spent the holidays with relatives. At around 2 am on the morning of January 4, Davison made an emergency 911 call, telling police that he was being followed by another driver.
The call broke up as Davison's vehicle passed across state lines from Maryland into Pennsylvania, but Davison soon made another 911 call, telling the dispatcher again that he was being followed, but this time the other driver was shooting at him.
Davison made it about three miles into Pennsylvania when the alleged road rage driver, who Davison told 911 operators was driving a black, Ford Ranger-style pickup truck, rammed the Maine man's 2001 Mitsubishi Montero, pushing it off the highway onto a snow-covered median.
Davison's vehicle got stuck in the show.
The other driver, police say, then got out of the truck and fired what police called "multiple shots" into Davison's car. The apparent road rage victim was found by police, but by then the shooter had long fled. Though Davison was transported to York Hospital, doctors could not save his life.
But was it simple road rage? Or something more? While police would not give further details of the contents of Davison's 911 calls, press reports say that the incident was set off by some sort of highway altercation, such as a sudden braking, or driver cutoff, according to Maine's Kennebec Journal newspaper.
At the same time that they called the incident "random," mainly because they say they've found nothing to indicate that Davison knew his killer, they also said that seven hours earlier in Monaghan Township, Pennsylvania, a black truck pulled up to another vehicle and the truck's driver fired several shots into the car.
The bullets just missed striking the driver in the head, but no one was hurt. Police want to know if the earlier incident is somehow connected to the terrifying murder of Davison which, if it was not road rage, could be the work of a deliberate killer targeting random motorists.
"This wasn't just road rage. This person is obviously crazy," Davison's mother, Theresa Alocca, told the Kennebec paper.
While police did not directly echo her views, they appeared to believe that Timothy Davison's murder was no ordinary case of road rage.
"This was a very extreme case, this was a rarity," said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Adam Reed Sunday. "And frankly the details of the case are disturbing."