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Family of I-4 shooting victim speaks out; Police release 911 calls

Officials offer $5K reward for information in case

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Orange County, FLA – Police have released the 911 calls on Tuesday in the early morning shooting of a man driving on Interstate 4, and a $5,000 reward has been offered in the case.

Samuel Adams, 48, of Sanford, was found shot in the chest inside a Mercury Milan just after 3 a.m. near exit 90 in Orange County. 

But Local 6 found out the family was already recovering from another tragedy. The cousins were driving home from the hospital after saying goodbye to Adams' sister, who was dying with a brain aneurysm when Adams was shot, according to his family.

"You just never imagine in your mind that you brother is going to be shot while driving down the road," said Adams' brother, Benjamin.

Benjamin told Local 6 he had just lost his sister and he was afraid he was going to lose his brother as he visited Adams in the hospital.

"I could see his eyes were open and that was more than my sister," Benjamin Adams said. ""I was holding his hand, feels like weakly, but I could feel a grip and that gave me some assurance but it didn't look that great at the time."

Adams' mother, Rozella Fields said she didn't understand who Benjamin Adams was talking about when he called her about the shooting.

"When he called me crying, saying that, he said 'he's alive, he's alive,'" Fields said. "I didn't even understand what he was talking about and I said who what you talking about."

According to Maitland police, a woman inside the car said she was looking at her cellphone when she heard a "pop."  She called 911 after Adams told her, "I've been hit, I've been shot." 

The woman, who said in the 911 calls Adams was her cousin, was not injured.

"I love you, Sam," the woman said on the call.

The woman said she got onto I-4 eastbound from the Princeton exit.

"Something came through the window and shot my cousin," the woman said in the call. "He's going in and out, something hit him dead in the chest."

The shooting occurred as the vehicle drove in the center lane approaching an overpass, according to police, who said Adams was able to drive the car to the side of the road.

A bullet hole pierced the windshield of the car, and police initially told Local 6 News that one shell casing was found nearby.  Police later said no shell casings were discovered.

Adams was taken to a hospital and was listed in critical but stable condition. Adams' family said the bullet went through Adams' lungs and lodged in his back. Adams underwent hours of surgery, according to his family.

Police said the shooting does not appear to be related to road rage, and that they believe it was a stray bullet.

"It doesn't appear that there was any vehicles in close proximity, she didn't recognize anything being around her when the shot was fired," said Sgt. Louis Grindle of the Maitland Police Department.

Police say the shooter may have been on the overpass on Maitland Boulevard.

Fields said she wants whoever fired the shot to know what they've done to her family.

"We still don't know what's gonna happen but I still feel like he's gonna come through this," Field said.

Adams' family said they haven't told Samuel that his sister has passed away because they say they want him to regain strength and have a fast recovery.

Crimeline is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension and arrest of the person or persons involved in the incident. Anyone with information is urged to call Crimeline at 407-423-TIPS.

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.