‘Do the right thing:’ Family of driver killed in SR-408 shooting, crash seeks answers

Tremain Hepburn’s family calls for justice after his death earlier this summer

Tremain Hepburn's loved ones said they're frustrated they still don't have answers. They're asking anyone who was on S.R. 408 the day of the shooting and crash who may have seen something to call Orlando Police or Crimeline.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The family of Tremain Hepburn is seeking answers and justice three weeks after he was killed during a shooting and crash along State Road 408.

On Friday, Orlando Police released the incident report and 911 calls.

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“I heard pop, pop, pop, pop. Sounded like a gun, pistol, like seven shots,” a witness told 911 dispatchers.

‘Not okay’

Hepburn’s family and loved ones spoke only to News 6 because they said they want to make sure he is not forgotten.

His wife, Germaine Kates-Hepburn, said she’s taking it day by day.

“Not okay. I think we’re all just here, just present,” she said.

She continues to mourn the loss of her husband. She said they’ve been together for nearly 14 years and got married in April 2021.

Hepburn was a father of six and a new grandfather.

Kates-Hepburn said one of her happiest memories is when she walked down the aisle on their wedding day.

“He just had this look on his face, that I finally made him happy because he asked me to marry him a while ago,” she said.

Family believes they know why Hepburn was targeted

Kates-Hepburn said she’s still trying to get answers three weeks after her husband’s death. According to the victim’s family, Hepburn suffered from multiple gunshot wounds and injuries caused during the crash.

“I don’t want it to go unanswered. I think that we won’t get peace, we won’t be able to have peace until the people that did this are caught,” she said.

Kates-Hepburn said she was on the phone with her husband shortly before the shooting and crash.

She said her husband was on his way to a car shop towing his white Dodge Challenger. Kates-Hepburn said he reported it as stolen in April.

She said he got a call from a tipster about where it was located.

“And he got a phone call saying they knew where his car was at, so he went over there to get his car,” she said.

Orlando police have not said whether the stolen car is part of their investigation.

Kates-Hepburn said she believes it is the reason why her husband was targeted.

“Ultimately, we believe that he was killed over his property, his car,” she said.

The person to lean on

The victim’s cousin, Anthony Ricks, Jr., said Hepburn leaves a large hole in their family.

“It’s a hole that could never really be filled,” Ricks said.

He said even though they were cousins, Hepburn was more like a big brother.

“He was always the person we could lean on,” Ricks said. “I’m just going to try to be a little bit of what he was for our family.”

Hepburn’s loved ones said he was a family man and that he touched many lives volunteering as a baseball coach.

He loved fixing cars, which was a passion he shared with his youngest son.

Kates-Hepburn said it’s tough for her to go into their garage.

“I just remember he would be in there for hours, hours working on this car or another. And just seeing all his stuff where he left it at, I had broke down because I know he’s never going to be in there anymore,” Kates-Hepburn said.

Hepburn’s best friend, Ed Green, said he’s choosing to remember the good times. He adds even though Hepburn is gone, his spirit is still here.

“You have your sad moments, but the life that he gave and just his presence that he gave everybody, it will never go away,” Green said.

‘We need justice’

Hepburn’s loved ones said they’re frustrated they still don’t have answers.

“I don’t want the people that did this to think they got away with it,” Kates-Hepburn said.

She’s asking anyone who was on State Road 408 the day of the shooting and crash who may have seen something to call Orlando police or Crimeline.

“I think that would give us some kind of closure, maybe. I don’t know,” she said.

Green echoed Kates-Hepburn’s call for people to reach out to investigators.

“People need to put themselves in our shoes. Don’t just sit back. If you know something, (say) something. Don’t sit back,” Green said.

He also urged whomever killed Hepburn to come forward.

“I know you ain’t going to do the right thing — but try to because it ain’t right. You still have to deal with life. We need justice, and do the right thing,” Green said.

Hepburn’s family started a GoFundMe page to raise money that will go towards his celebration of life.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Orlando Police Department at 321-235-5300 or Crimeline to submit an anonymous tip at 800-423-TIPS (8477).


About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!