BROOKSVILLE — Isiah Lee Collins, 29, died from a gunshot wound to his upper body. It happened 20 minutes after midnight Monday on Buena Vista Avenue, not far from where the residential road meets Broad Street in Brooksville.
The asphalt where Collins fell was still stained pale orange Monday afternoon, remnants that fire hoses couldn't remove. Bloody gauze littered a patch of grass, and pieces of yellow police tape still clung to nearby branches.
Family and friends visited the scene throughout the day to gape or mourn.
"He was always there if you needed something," said friend Dionne Mobley, 24.
Brooksville police officers spent the day trying to piece together the events surrounding the city's second slaying in less than four months.
Authorities received a 911 call from a witness who heard gunshots. Officers arrived to find Collins lying in the road, alive but in serious condition. Emergency workers took him to Brooksville Regional Hospital, where he died minutes later, according to a police news release.
Demetrius Henley, an acquaintance, said he saw Collins just 30 minutes before the shooting. He was talking to people at the weekly neighborhood get-together, known as "Chunky Sunday," on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
"He was like a big brother for everyone that got acquainted with him," said Henley, a 21-year-old college student. "He was a big person in the community."
Brooksville officers said Monday afternoon that they have a number of leads in the case but did not identify a suspect.
About 12 hours after the shooting, investigators located a red Nissan sports car parked at a home on W Fort Dade Avenue that they believe was involved.
Authorities said they believe the shooting might have been drug-related because they found drugs at the scene.
Those who knew Collins said he sold drugs and lived a life on the streets.
His lengthy criminal record dates to a 1995 arrest a day after his 16th birthday, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Later that year, he was arrested on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in Hillsborough County. Five days before he was found guilty, he was charged with stealing a firearm and vehicle and then fleeing police.
State prison records indicate he served a total of nearly nine years behind bars on the various charges.
John Frank can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 754-6114.