TAMPA - An Orlando man was shot dead Saturday afternoon on eastbound Interstate 4 while talking to 911 dispatchers, reporting that he was being followed by someone with a gun, deputies said. The gunman remains at large.
The highway's eastbound lanes were closed for hours but reopened shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday after investigators searched for evidence near the Interstate 75 overpass, which is close to where the shooting took place, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reported.
The incident began shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday when the Tampa Police Department received a 911 call from Fred William Turner Jr., 47, of 10565 Bastille Lane , #107, who was driving a newer model Ford Mustang, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.
Turner told a Tampa police dispatcher he was being followed by another motorist in the area of 50th Street and Columbus Drive after leaving a store.
Carter said Turner told the dispatcher he planned to get on I-4, headed toward Orlando.
The call was transferred to the sheriff's office and Florida Highway Patrol when the motorist moved outside of the Tampa Police Department's jurisdiction.
During the 911 call, Turner told authorities the driver of a late-model gray Ford Taurus following him earlier had pulled next to his vehicle and someone displayed what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon.
Deputies later said the Taurus reportedly was a four-door sedan with tinted windows. Authorities did not know how many people were in the car.
Turner told dispatchers he had done nothing to provoke someone to follow him and was on the phone with 911 operators when they heard multiple gunshots, Carter wrote in a news release said.
Witnesses told authorities Turner pulled off the interstate and the suspect car sped away.