Shootout between motorcycle gangs on I-4 leaves 1 dead, Polk deputies say

Ronald Donovan charged with 2nd-degree murder

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A shootout between two motorcycle gangs on Interstate 4 injured a man and a woman, who later died from her injuries, according to the Polk County sheriff.

A motorcyclist, identified as 38-year-old Ronald Donovan, is accused of shooting another rider on I-4 near US-27 just after midnight Friday, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. The 36-year-old man who was shot returned fire, striking the 33-year-old Brevard woman on the back of Donovan’s motorcycle.

“She is in super, super critical condition at this moment,” Judd said during a news conference Friday morning.

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The woman died from her injuries Friday, according to a release from the sheriff’s office Saturday morning.

Donavan was uninjured, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies responded to the intersection of Lake Wilson Road and Osceola Polk Line Road where they found the 36-year-old from Osceola County with a gunshot wound.

The sheriff said at this point in time, the man who was shot was “acting in self-defense when he returned fire toward Ronald Donovan.”

The incident prompted deputies to shut down the interstate for hours before reopening around 9:30 a.m.

“We had to search for evidence and firearms all up and down the interstate. There’s a half mile trail of empty casings where this gunfight took place,” he said.

With the woman’s death, Donovan now faces charges of second-degree felony murder, attempted first-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, tampering with evidence, resisting with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.