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Police looking for hit-and-run driver who struck a man involved in a deadly shooting

The car police are searching for is described as a four-door grey sedan.
Credit: Chalabala - stock.adobe.com

HAINES CITY, Fla. — Haines City police are searching for the driver who struck a man running away from a fight where he had been shot.

Police say this all began at around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, when a 41-year-old man told police he was attacked by another man - who was later identified as Gerald Lewis - near Valencia Avenue. He told detectives he did not know the man and that Lewis attacked the 41-year-old unprovoked and hit him in the eye. 

The punch caused the man to fall to the ground. And that's when police say Lewis, who initiated the fight, according to a witness related to the 41-year-old, jumped on top of him.

The 41-year-old man, who police say is much leaner than the other man, was in legal possession of a concealed firearm. He told police during the fight he was in fear for his life and reached for his gun. A struggle ensued between the two and a single shot was fired, striking Lewis just below the ribcage.

The shooter told detectives that the gunshot was enough to get Lewis off of him and the two stood up and ran in opposite directions. 

While running away, the 41-year-old man said he heard a loud noise and he turned around to see that Lewis was hit by a car that did not stop and drove off from the area. He told police the car was a four-door grey sedan.

Police arrived to find Lewis lying in the roadway near Valencia Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way with a gunshot wound and a severely injured leg. Medical personnel performed life-saving procedures on him but were unable to get a pulse.

Claiming it was an act of self-defense, the shooter suffered bruising to the eye to the point that it was swollen shut, police say. He also had cuts to his elbows and knees. 

Police are searching for the car that drove off from the area where Lewis was found dead. At this time, no charges have been filed but the investigation is ongoing. 

If you have any information, you're asked to call the Haines City Police Department at 863-421-3636 or  Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 (TIPS).

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