Man fatally stabbed in retaliation for shooting, Daytona police say

Stabbing happened at gas station Saturday morning

Joe McCants

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A man was fatally stabbed Saturday morning in retaliation for a shooting that occurred weeks prior, according to the Daytona Beach Police Department. 

Police said Thebese Rankin, 27, was stabbed at a Citgo on International Speedway Boulevard at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday and died about an hour later after he was taken to an area hospital.

Video from the gas station shows Rankin and Joe McCants, 50, bumped into each other but went their separate ways. Rankin went into his vehicle then got out and began approaching McCants.

Police said that once the two men were near the southwest corner of the convenience store, McCants stabbed Rankin in the chest.

Video shows Rankin looked at his chest and tried to get away from McCants, but McCants followed him with the knife still in his hand until Rankin collapsed on International Speedway Boulevard, according to the affidavit.

At that point, McCants ran away and bystanders tried to help Rankin before first responders arrived, the report said.

Recordings of 911 calls placed after the incident showed that witnesses placed Rankin in a vehicle to drive him to a hospital but ultimately took a 911 operator's advice and stayed at the scene until authorities arrived.

"I ran by and I seen two guys fighting, one of them has a knife," a witness said in a 911 call.

Police said a photo from the surveillance footage was released to the media and tips began coming in identifying McCants as the suspect.

Rankins' mother told investigators that her son and McCants had been involved in a fight and she believed that was the reason for the shooting, according to the affidavit. She also said there was a shooting at McCants' home on Winchester Road a few weeks ago and Rankins was responsible, records show.

Police said t a woman who lives at the home with McCants told them and the home was shot at and that a few days later, Rankins admitted to her that he was the shooter.

Authorities were later called to that same home because McCants was there and wished to turn himself in, according to the report.

He was arrested on a second-degree murder charge.