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Second arrest made in fatal Walmart shooting thanks to anonymous tipster

Roderick Haynes Jr. charged with felony murder

FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. – A second arrest has been made in connection with a fatal shooting at a Fruitland Park Walmart thanks in part to information provided by an anonymous tipster, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

The shooting happened Sept. 19 around 7:15 p.m. Mark Estes died at the scene from two gunshot wounds.

Witnesses told deputies they heard two to four gunshots in the area and then saw a red Toyota Camry, which deputies later confirmed had been stolen out of Sumter County weeks prior to the incident, leave the scene. Witnesses said one man with dreadlocks was inside the vehicle and another man had been seen running from the vehicle, deputies said. 

Surveillance video from Walmart shows the red Toyota pulling up next to Estes' Cadillac then minutes later he's seen falling out of or being pushed out of the Toyota and he remains lying on the ground as the Toyota pulls away from the scene, according to the affidavit.

A search of Estes' phone, which was located inside his 2011 Cadillac, revealed that he was at the Walmart to sell marijuana to someone he had been texting. Deputies searched that number on Facebook and found it belonged to Scott Bernard Thomas, who was arrested days after the shooting. 

Investigating deputies received tips that Roderick Haynes Jr. was responsible for the murder and had been seen driving in the stolen Toyota Camry since Sept. 11. Deputies searched his public posts on Haynes' Facebook and found three videos that appeared to be recorded inside the Camry, the affidavit said. 

Those videos show Haynes driving in the vehicle, listening to music and smoking what appears to be marijuana. 

An anonymous tipster alerted deputies to the location of the stolen vehicle on Sept. 21, which was found located behind an abandoned residence. A .40 caliber shell matching the one found at Walmart was located in the vehicle along with a bullet hole in the front passenger seat and a partial projectile in the backseat, deputies said. 

The anonymous tipster continued to provide deputies information about Haynes' whereabouts as he traveled to Valdasta, Georgia to hide out at a relative's house then to Louisiana, according to the affidavit. 

On Oct. 4, the informant told deputies he or she had started to receive death threats as a result of providing information. The tipster met with deputies the next day and told them that he or she has known Haynes and Thomas for several years and he or she saw them both at a store just a few miles away from Walmart on the day of the shooting, deputies said.

Haynes was arrested Thursday and charged felony murder. Thomas was arrested and charged with third-degree murder, resisting an officer without violence, and violation of probation the day after the Camry was found at the abandoned residence. Read about the previous arrest here.


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