Florida driver shot, killed as gunman fires at cars during ‘violent rampage,' officials say

Plant City police officer shoots Jeffrey Darnell Thomas, sheriff says

Jeffrey Darnell Thomas.
Jeffrey Darnell Thomas.

PLANT CITY, Fla. – A gunman firing at cars while trying to flag down drivers during a “violent rampage” Tuesday on a Florida roadway was shot by a Plant City police officer after the man shot and killed a motorist, sheriff’s officials said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Jeffrey Darnell Thomas, 27, was arrested on charges of first-degree premeditated murder with a firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, shooting at or into an occupied conveyance or vehicle and two counts of attempted armed carjacking.

Sheriff’s officials said deputies went to the intersection of Colson Road and Tower Ridge Lane just before 1 p.m. when a family member of the victim called 911 to report that their relative had been shot. Deputies determined the victim was shot while driving his vehicle along Colton Road.

Just before the shooting, 911 dispatchers received multiple calls from drivers in the area reporting that a gunman was attempting to flag down vehicles, officials said. There were also reports that the man was shooting his gun at other motorists in the area, according to deputies.

Thomas was located and shot by a Plant City police officer, sheriff’s officials said. Thomas was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Authorities said the man shot by Thomas was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital, where he died.

The motive for the shooting is unknown, deputies said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the officer-involved shooting, which is standard procedure.

No other details have been released.

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