LAKELAND — The Florida Highway Patrol is searching for the driver of a Ford Mustang who troopers believe shot at another vehicle while speeding down Interstate 4 in Polk County on Saturday.
Investigators learned about the shooting when they were contacted by a Polk County man later that day, at about 1:15 p.m. The man told investigators the unknown driver fired a bullet into the side of his sedan while the two were driving west on the Lakeland section of Interstate 4, near State Road 33.
The Highway Patrol did not release the man’s name because of its interpretation of Marsy’s Law, a constitutional amendment passed by Florida voters in 2018 that is meant to protect crime victims.
The man told investigators he had watched the newer-model, red Mustang as it traveled recklessly down the interstate, speeding and weaving in and out of traffic by using the roadway’s emergency shoulders to maneuver around slower vehicles.
The Mustang pulled alongside the driver’s side of the victim’s 2013 Honda CR-Z, and as he passed the man told investigators he heard a “thump” on the body of his car, according to a Highway Patrol report.
At first the man told the Highway Patrol he thought the Mustang’s driver had thrown something at his vehicle as he passed, and continued driving until he reached his home in Polk County, where he contacted law enforcement.
Later that day, troopers recovered one pistol round from a hole left near the driver’s side door of the man’s sedan.
The man was unable to describe the Mustang’s driver to investigators, but provided part of the tag number on the vehicle’s Florida license plate: “LEI” or “LE1,” the agency said.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call the Florida Highway Patrol at (813) 558-1800.