Police Car Lights Crime Arrest

Haines City Police Seeking Tips On Sunday’s Deadly Shooting

HAINES CITY, FL – The Haines City Police Department is looking for any information regarding the fatal shooting of a 34-year-old man that took place on Sunday night.

Gerald Lewis, of Haines City, was pronounced dead with a gunshot wound to the left side of the torso and a severely injured leg in the area of Valencia Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way at about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Polk County Emergency Medical Services performed life-saving procedures but were unsuccessful in reviving Lewis.

The shooting took place after Lewis had become involved in a physical altercation with a 41-year-old man near Valencia Avenue. The man told detectives that Lewis, whom he does not know, attacked him unprovoked and struck him in the eye.

The punch caused the man to fall to the ground. One witness, related to the shooter, witnessed the punch and subsequent fall and corroborated the man’s claims that the fight was initiated by Lewis and unprovoked.

The much-leaner man told detectives that Lewis jumped on top of him after the punch. The man, who was in legal possession of a concealed firearm, said he was in fear for his life and reached for his gun. The man said that as he and Lewis were struggling for the gun, a single shot was fired, which struck Lewis just below the ribcage.

The man told detectives that the shot was enough to get Lewis off of him. Both he and Lewis stood up and ran in different directions. The shooter told detectives that he heard a loud noise and turned around to see that Lewis had been struck by a vehicle, which he described as a gray four-door sedan, in the area where he later died. The sedan did not stop after hitting Lewis and the driver remains at large.

The shooter, who claimed to have acted in self-defense, suffered bruising to the eye to the point that it was swollen shut. He also suffered cuts to his elbows and knees. No charges have been filed. The investigation is ongoing.

Detectives are asking anyone with any information to call the Haines City Police Department at 863-421-3636. Anyone who wants to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward can contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 (TIPS) or via the web at www.p3tips.com.

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