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I-4 Shooting: Apparent Case of Mistaken Identity

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s officials are calling Saturday's killing of Fred William Turner, Jr. on Interstate 4 an apparent case of mistaken identity.

Speaking at a press conference Monday afternoon, HCSO Colonel Donna Lusczynski said Jerome Edwards Hayes of St. Cloud, Florida, allegedly pursued the 47-year-old Orlando man onto I-4. Turner managed to call 911 and told a dispatcher a man in a silver or gray Ford Taurus was following him shortly before the shooting.

Lusczynski said Hayes, 48, and another man allegedly got into a fight with a third man and were kicked out of the Gold Club, a gentleman’s club on Adamo Drive. Around the same time, Turner walked out of Tres Equis, an adult store next to the club.

Thinking Turner was the man he had fought in the club, Hayes followed Turner. Turner told 911 dispatchers that he had seen Hayes parked on Adamo Drive shortly before leaving Tres Equis. Surveilance video showed  a man from the Taurus retrieve an unknown object out of the trunk of the vehicle before he left the parking lot.

Turner was still on his cell phone when the dispatcher heard what’s believed to have been gunshots. Turner pulled over near the Interstate 75 overpass and died at about 3 PM.

Hayes turned himself in Monday morning and was booked on a first-degree murder charge. He's being held in Hillsborough County Jail without bail. According to Sheriff's officials, his Ford Taurus, along with a number of firearms, were recovered at his home in St. Cloud.

The man who was with Hayes has reportedly been questioned, but not identified or charged. The case remains under investigation.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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