Arrest made in fatal road rage shooting in St. Pete’s Old Northeast

William John Shutt, 31, faces a murder charge. St. Petersburg police said he didn’t know the victims, that road rage led to the fatal shooting in the Historic Old Northeast.
Published April 3
Updated April 3

ST. PETERSBURG — The driver who shot at two men, killing one, in last week’s fatal encounter in the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood was arrested early Wednesday, police said.

William John Shutt, 31, of Seminole, faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and residential burglary. He was arrested at about 4 a.m., after police said he broke into his girlfriend’s home in St. Petersburg.

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Road rage is what led to the March 27 shooting that killed Quentin Hicks, 42, said St. Petersburg police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez.

“They didn’t know each other ...,” she said. “It was strictly an issue of a traffic problem and they got mad and it escalated.”

Shutt’s arrest affidavits say he had the opportunity to leave the scene, but instead “stayed” and shot both men. But investigators released no other details about what led to the shooting.

Police were looking for a blue 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe seen driving away from Hicks’ black convertible BMW after the shots were fired. A detective saw that vehicle, police said, and then identified Shutt as the driver. But police did not say when the vehicle was spotted or how Shutt was identified.

Shutt’s address is 11100 62 Ave. in Seminole. He was arrested inside his girlfriend’s home along the 7000 block of 15th Street N, which is about five miles north of the shooting scene.

She wasn’t home at the time. He entered the home without her permission, police said. She had even changed the electronic code to the house to prevent him from entering without her being there. But she saw Shutt enter her home via a video surveillance system, police said. She declined to speak to a Tampa Bay Times reporter.

St. Petersburg police arrested Shutt inside her home. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail just before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and is being held there without bail.

The shooting took place in the 1700 block of Bay Street NE on March 27, police said. Hicks’ car then traveled four blocks before crashing into a tree at First Street NE near 20th Avenue N. His family declined to comment.

The other wounded man was taken to a hospital and survived. His identity was not released by police.

No gun has been recovered. Shutt does not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, police said.

Five days before the shooting, court records show Shutt was cited on March 22 for careless driving by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. The citation said Shutt failed to exercise “due care” while driving a red 2016 Kawasaki motorcycle, causing a crash at the 54th Avenue N exit ramp off Interstate 275. The crash injured one person and caused $5,250 in damages to the other vehicle. Shutt’s fine was $166.

Last year, he was cited for reckless driving after a Pinellas deputy reported catching him doing 90 mph in a 45 mph zone near First Avenue S and 45th Street S. The deputy wrote “reckless driving, cutting in front, speed, failure to obey” in the citation. Shutt pleaded no contest. The judge withheld adjudication and ordered him to pay $400.

Contact McKenna Oxenden at moxenden@tampabay.com. Follow @mack_oxenden.

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