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Crime & Courts

Shooting kills motorist, closes eastbound I-4

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Published:   |   Updated: July 1, 2013 at 06:52 AM

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TAMPA - A motorist was shot and killed Saturday afternoon on eastbound Interstate 4 while speaking on a mobile device with 911 dispatchers, reporting that he was being followed by someone with a gun, deputies said.

The highway's eastbound lanes reopened shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday after investigators searched for hours for evidence near the Interstate 75 overpass, which is close to where the shooting took place, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reported.

Neither the name of the victim nor a possible motive for the shooting had been released.

The incident began shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday when the Tampa Police Department received a 911 call from the victim, who was driving a newer model Ford Mustang, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

The driver told a Tampa police dispatcher he was being followed by another motorist in the area of 50th Street and Columbus Drive.

Carter said the caller 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, the Mustang's driver told authorities the driver of a late-model grey 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.

The motorist told dispatchers he had done nothing to provoke someone to follow him.

The caller still was on the phone with 911 operators when they heard multiple gunshots, Carter wrote in a news release said.

Witnesses told authorities the driver of the Mustang pulled off the interstate and the suspect car sped away.

The Mustang's driver died at the roadside crime scene. He is from another county, Carter said, and deputies will release his name after his relatives are notified of his death.

kknight@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7413

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