ST. PETERSBURG — Court records describe Jeron Anthony Davis' last moments: arguing with another man in a parking lot. Running away from an accelerating Chrysler 300. Throwing his hands in the air in surrender. Tripping over a curb. Then being run over.
Davis, 30, was fatally injured in that June 20 hit-and-run crash. St. Petersburg police say it was no accident: Davis was targeted, and now the driver is wanted on a charge of first-degree murder.
Investigators believe Taurus Randall Frederick, 38, was behind the wheel when Davis was killed. The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force is now searching for him.
According to a search warrant filed to search the Chrysler, a woman told police she was on the phone with Davis when he was having a "heated" argument with the driver.
Police said the argument started in a parking lot on the 2100 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S. Afterward, the driver followed Davis in the gray 2007 Chrysler and struck him near King Street and 22nd Avenue S.
Davis died on the scene.
"There's so much gossip," said Areal Davis, Jeron Davis' cousin. "I don't know what they were arguing about, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't worth his life."
According to the warrant, one witness told police he saw Davis run across King Street. Another said she saw Davis running from the Chrysler "with his hands in the air, in a display of surrender." Both witnesses said Davis had no guns or other weapons they could see.
The warrant says Davis tripped over the curb on the west side of the street. The second witness told police the driver ran over the curb "while the victim was on the ground."
Later, the Chrysler slammed into a metal fence at the Walgreens at 901 22nd Ave. S, ripping four sections of fence from the posts before driving into a shallow retention pond.
The driver didn't stop, according to the warrant. He tried to turn the Chrysler into the parking lot, but got stuck in a rain gutter. Surveillance footage shows him getting out of the car and running.
Detectives later found two towels, a white tank top, a small baggie of marijuana, a plastic container of pills, fingerprints and cigarette butts inside the car, according to the warrant. They also found a piece of paper with Frederick's name on it.
Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Jack Suntrup at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8092. Follow @JackSuntrup.