POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The suspect in an apparent road rage incident that left a man dead is in custody, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Authorities arrested Daniele Hamilton, 58, of Davenport, and charged him with second-degree murder, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, shooting over a right-of-way, and tampering with evidence in the death of Kevin Berry.
The sheriff’s office said Berry, 58, of Altamonte Springs was “in grave condition” after being shot on the Interstate 4 off-ramp at U.S. Highway 27. He was pronounced deceased around 6:25 p.m. Tuesday.
According to a press release, a witness reported seeing Berry’s white Dodge truck and another car driving aggressively around each other.
The witness told deputies the two drivers were yelling at each other, but they did not see the shooting.
According to the sheriff, Berry was standing outside of his truck on the off-ramp at US 27 when he was shot in the head by a bullet that traveled through his truck.
Detectives were able to track the other vehicle involved using footage from red light and business security cameras.
“We start looking at cameras in stores on Highway 27. I am so thankful for our community, our business community, that have cameras in their stores,” said Sheriff Judd.
Detectives followed the car to a Davenport neighborhood. They asked around and were able to find the vehicle at Hamilton’s home.
When questioned about the incident, Hamilton initially denied being involved and claimed he was a witness. However, detectives executed a search warrant and found a .38 special revolver in his bedroom.
Spent shell casings were also found in the trash in a bedroom, a press release stated.
Hamilton allegedly told officials, “You’ve found what you need to find so we can go [to jail].”
He was then taken into custody without incident and was booked into the Polk County Jail.
“My detectives investigate every homicide as if the victim were one of their own family members—they work around the clock, without sleep, and leave no stone unturned until they solve the case. I’m very proud of them, and very disappointed in this man who simply could have driven away when engaged in an argument with the victim. Now he’s charged with several felonies and is facing some serious prison time,” Judd said in a statement.
“It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of one of our own. Kevin Berry was a great employee, trainer, and friend. He was an employee who exemplified safety, work ethic, passion, and cared deeply about the success of his colleagues and the company. We are extremely saddened and heartbroken as he was taken from us too soon,” said Jeff Stein, Berry’s employer at Imperial Express, LLC, in a statement.
During a press conference Wednesday, Judd said Hamilton had a lengthy criminal history, which includes several previous arrests dating back to 1986. His most recent arrest came in 2013 when he was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for robbery, which was later downgraded to larceny and battery.
None of his prior arrests in Florida resulted in convictions.
Hamilton has also been previously arrested out of state.
Investigators said three other cars were seen near the accident when it occurred, and they believe someone may have seen or heard something. They are still waiting for more witnesses to come forward.
Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact the Polk County Sheriffs Office at (863) 298-6200.