Tampa, Florida – Evidence released by the State Attorney's Office details how a fight at a topless bar led to a fatal shooting in an apparent case of mistaken identity on Interstate 4 last summer.
Fred Turner, 47, was shot and killed by Jerome Edward Hayes on eastbound I-4 at the Interstate 75 interchange on June 29, 2013, according to Hillsborough County investigators.
New information details the genesis of the incident, which began inside the Gold Club, a a topless bar on Adamo Drive in Tampa, when Hayes and another man got into a confrontation with James Prather.
"Before I would even look back, the guy on my right side punched me in the face," Prather said speaking of Hayes' friend. "We kind of tussled, he went to the ground, and I struck him once more. By then the management and the bouncers had came and split us up."
A manager at the club told detectives he quickly intervened and ushered Hayes and his friend out of the establishment.
"The tall guy attacked the regular and then after I had broken the fight up, that's when the shorter bald man became aggressive," Roy Sansbury said.
Sansbury said he asked Prather not to leave until Hayes left the parking lot, but noticed he parked off to the side and did not leave the property.
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Surveillance video from the club shows a Ford Taurus that reportedly belongs to Hayes waiting off to the side and then begin to follow a green Ford Mustang.
Investigators said that Hayes believed that Prather is behind the wheel of the Mustang, when it was Turner driving his own car after leaving a neighboring business.
As Hayes followed the Mustang onto the highway, Turner called police to report a man keep brandishing a firearm in his direction.
911 operator: "So he's following you?"
Turner: "Yes, less than a car length behind me. And I have no idea who this guy is."
Moments later, witnesses watched in horror as Turner was killed in front of their eyes and his car coasted off the road.
"The shots fired I want to say about three shots maybe two that car then sped off," said Nicholas Casares.
Hayes, 48, of St. Cloud, has been denied bond and remains in the Hillsborough County Jail. he is charged with first-degree murder, and shooting at, within or into a vehicle. His trial is scheduled to start in September.