LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Elizabeth “Elly”Arrieta, 29, had just started her tax analysis business.
“She was just getting her ducks in a row. We were really proud of her and excited,” said her older sister, Katherine Arrieta.
Elly, who was living in Lakeland, was spunky and vibrant, according to her sister.
This week, she celebrated her two-year anniversary with her boyfriend, Juan Ladson, 29, Katherine Arrieta said.
“They were celebrating their anniversary and they were coming from Anna Maria Island. They had a beautiful day, just them, enjoying life together,” she said.
Just after 9 p.m. Tuesday night, there was an urgent call to 911.
“Somebody shot us on I-4,” the caller said.
Plant City police say a man in a gray or silver Toyota Prius was driving erratically and showing signs of road rage when he shot at the couple’s vehicle.
The driver continued heading east.
“If you see a silver or a gray Prius and you’re able to take a picture of it, the license plate, send it to us. There’s no such thing as too small of a lead,” said Plant City Police Capt. Alfred Van Duyne.
Ladson pulled into a Plant City Fire Rescue Station. He was shot but survived.
Elly Arrieta died on scene.
“What [the shooter] did, I mean, it’s reckless. This is a horrible tragic event that happened for no reason. To kill somebody driving is senseless. A life gone for no reason,” said Katherine Arrieta.
Arrieta said she visited Ladson at Lakeland Regional Health this week.
“He’s beating himself up but he’s dealing with it. It’s rough. He can’t believe he made it but I told him, ‘Honey you’re alive, and you gotta make the best out of this’,” she said.
If anyone has any information regarding the suspect vehicle described as driving a silver or gray Toyota Prius with non-tinted windows is asked to contact Sergeant Baker at (813) 707-2271 or Detective Cowart at (813) 707-2270.
“Honestly I just hope and pray to God that we can find who did this, bring justice to her and to remember how amazing. Everybody who was close to her knows that she’s leaving a big hole in our hearts right now,” said Arrieta.