Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shot on I-4, former Clearwater man described as hard-working

Fred William Turner Jr., 47, was killed Saturday on I-4 by another motorist.

Fred William Turner Jr., 47, was killed Saturday on I-4 by another motorist.

The Orlando man whose fatal shooting Saturday on Interstate 4 was captured on a police call was a hard-working hotel employee who loved his job and stayed friends with his ex-wife years after their divorce, according to people who knew him.

Fred William Turner Jr., 47, died Saturday after telling a 911 dispatcher he was being followed by a man in a silver or gray Ford Taurus after he left a store in Tampa.

Turner told dispatchers the man pulled up next to him, rolled down a window and brandished a gun, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

He said he did not provoke the man, who followed him onto I-4 from the area of N 50th Street and E Columbus Drive.

Turner was still on his cellphone as he approached the Interstate 75 overpass and the dispatcher heard shots ring out.

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said Turner pulled his green Ford Mustang over near the overpass and died about 3 p.m.

Investigators would not disclose the name of the store where the episode may have begun, nor release a recording of Turner's 911 call.

The gunman was still on the loose Sunday, authorities said.

"I hope they find the person who did this," said Marie Schlesak, who said she kept in touch with Turner even after his divorce from her daughter, Lillian, about five years ago. "I thought of him as a son."

Schlesak, who lives part-time in Florida and Illinois, said she doesn't know why Turner was in Tampa on Saturday.

He used to live in Clearwater with his wife before they were divorced. He did not have any children, Schlesak said.

She described him as "a lovable man" and "hard worker" who had once been in the military and enjoyed his job as head of housekeeping at a hotel in Orlando.

Schlesak said her daughter, Lillian Schlesak, was devastated about Turner's death and had been bombarded with media calls. Lillian Schlesak did not return a call from the Tampa Bay Times.

Neighbors at Turner's apartment near Walt Disney World described him as an amiable guy who often kept to himself.

One neighbor told Bay News 9 that Turner liked to spend time working on his motorcycle and his car.

Turner's killing remains under investigation and is being handled by the Sheriff's Office, Tampa police and the Florida Highway Patrol because the pursuit and shooting spanned all three jurisdictions.

Authorities from the three agencies scoured the area near the incident for eight hours Saturday, snarling traffic.

Portions of the interstate are watched by aerial traffic-monitoring cameras, but Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Steve Gaskins said he thinks it's unlikely the cameras will help solve the shooting.

The cameras are designed to monitor traffic and pinpoint accident locations. They produce a live feed from hundreds of feet in the air and do not record, he said.

"Did we actually spot anyone on the cameras? No we didn't," Gaskins said. "I'm not aware of us seeing anything until the incident happened and (Turner) pulled over."

Law enforcement was urging people with information on the case to call Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay toll-free at 1-800-873-8477.

Brittany Alana Davis can be reached at bdavis@tampabay.

Shot on I-4, former Clearwater man described as hard-working 06/30/13 [Last modified: Monday, July 1, 2013 7:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Philippines forces make gains in city under siege by ISIS-linked militants

    MARAWI, Philippines — Philippine forces say they now control most of a southern city where militants linked to the Islamic State group launched a bloody siege nearly a week ago.

  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. South Korea military: North Korea fires unidentified projectile

    World

    SEOUL — North Korea launched a ballistic missile early today that flew 280 miles and landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, the South Korean military and the Japanese government said.

    S. Korean President Moon Jae-in is assessing the launch.