Driver in fatal gunplay surrenders
In a case deputies call “fluid,” a man is charged with firearms violations, but not with the death of the other driver.
By KEVIN GRAHAM
Published August 6, 2006
TAMPA — The driver of a Lexus involved in a weekend shooting that left another driver dead turned himself in Sunday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
But investigators have not charged Billy Ray Young Jr., 32, of 4146 Branch Ave. N in Wesley Chapel, with the death of 32-year-old Bobby Fields.
“He is a person of interest,” Detective Lisa Haber-Bosley, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said of Young.
Deputies, she said, arrested Young on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed firearm. Haber-Bosley did not say whether Young fired any of the shots that hit Fields’ 1995 GMC Jimmy about 1 p.m. Saturday, along N 21st Street north of Fletcher Avenue. Young was at the Orient Road jail late Sunday with no set bail.
Detectives released nothing new on the possible passenger in Young’s car, described as a 6-foot-3, 200-pound black male with dreadlocks.
“This investigation is still very fluid and still ongoing,” Haber-Bosley said.
Authorities said someone inside Young’s 1991, lime green Lexus sedan fired shots into Fields’ SUV Saturday afternoon, just outside his North Tampa apartment, as he drove home. Fields was hit in the head and later pronounced dead at University Community Hospital.
Deputies at the scene said the two drivers may have been arguing when at least four bullets went flying into Fields’ SUV.
A day after the shooting, neighbors were still stunned by the loss of a man they said moved into their community less than a month ago but treated them like family.
Catherine Salvi , who lived next door to Fields, said she sat outside all night Saturday waiting for him to come home.
But as dusk turned into dawn Sunday, the candle placed at his doorstep flickered as a painful reminder that Fields would never return.
Fields had spent Saturday morning at Salvi’s apartment, she said. He left only to buy a beer for her mother.
“The next minute I was hearing gunshots,” Salvi said, fighting back tears. “I can’t believe that people do stuff like that.”
Clair Davis , another neighbor, placed a memorial candle at Fields’ doorstep Sunday morning, still in shock over the tragedy.
“He was jolly. He was happy,” she said. “He made us all joke and smile.”
Fields would play football in the grassy courtyard with young children in the neighborhood, Davis said. He had moved in about a month ago, but he treated his neighbors like he had known them for years, she said.
He helped Davis, an Air Force veteran, fill out paperwork to get benefits. She said Fields had recently gotten a job working in waste management and was excited about completing his training.
“It’s been hitting all of us pretty hard that he’s gone,” she said.
Salvi has lived in this University Community area neighborhood for nearly eight years. She has seen the crime rise recently and isn’t sure how much more she can take. Last month, 29-year-old Maurice King, of Seffner, was found shot to death in his car along the same street as Saturday’s shooting.
“This street has never, ever been this complicated,” Salvi said. “I’m planning on getting up out of here because I don’t want to be the next victim.”
Kevin Graham can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.