ODESSA — Two motorcyclists shot and killed a driver on Thursday as he waited at a red light on a Suncoast Parkway exit ramp at State Road 54, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said the unidentified man who was killed was "a documented motorcycle gang member."
"It was not a random act," Nocco said. "Every indication we have was that this was a targeted shooting."
Now deputies are looking for the two bikers.
Nocco, speaking at a news conference that night, relayed the account of an unidentified witness who was nearby when the shooting took place and called 911 at about 4:55 p.m.
The woman told 911 dispatchers that she saw two motorcycles stop near a truck that was stopped on the northbound exit ramp at a red light waiting to turn onto S.R. 54. The riders got off, she said, and then she heard three pops and saw the driver slumped over.
Nocco declined to label the incident the result of a war between rival motorcycle gangs, but said the shooting "seems to be an internal issue."
Deputies did not release any details about the two motorcyclists, including whether or not they have identified them. However, deputies said the bikers had covered their license plates.
The sheriff said his agency monitors local biker gangs but would not identify any of those groups.
"We're not going to show our cards," he said.
The sheriff called the act "brazen" given it happened in the middle of rush hour traffic in a busy intersection. He worried Thursday's incident could trigger another shooting, putting more people at risk.
"Our fear is that a random, innocent person gets hurt," Nocco said. "Thank God an innocent person was not killed."
The sheriff asked anyone with information about this incident, or anyone who captured video of the incident, to contact the Sheriff's Office. They can call Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-8477, where they can remain anonymous.
Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @ByJoshSolomon.