The Hernando man found dead in a motel parking lot on Thursday was murdered by a jealous ex-husband seeking to kill his former wife’s lover, according to deputies.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office says Salvatore Tirone, 70, drove from where he’s from in Broward County to the Quality Inn in Hernando, where he killed 64-year-old Michael Quirello.
Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast says Quirello was at the motel with Tirone’s ex-wife when Tirone arrived. Deputies say Tirone shot and killed Quirello, who was later pronounced dead when found by paramedics in the motel parking lot.
“[Tirone] drove to Citrus County with the intent on killing his ex-wife’s new paramour,” said a sheriff’s office spokesperson.
During the shooting, an unidentified bystander, who deputies say is a concealed firearm permit holder, intervened and exchanged gunfire with Tirone. Tirone fled in a black Mercedes Benz SUV on State Route 44 Eastbound.
Deputies say they pursued Tirone at a high rate of speed and attempted to use tire deflation devices on the roadway to end the chase, however, Tirone maneuvered around them.
Tirone crossed into Sumter County and reached Interstate-75 southbound when a deputy bumped his vehicle off the roadway. The vehicle rolled several times into a wooded area in the center median and rested on its roof. Deputies say Tirone got out and fired at deputies, but was killed by the return gunfire.
“We are working diligently to investigate this unfortunate incident,” the spokesperson said. “Thankfully, it is an isolated incident and all parties have been identified.”
Interstate 75 southbound was closed most of the day, leading to significant delays for thousands of drivers.