Old Northeast shooting was road rage, police say; suspect arrested

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St. Pete police said they have a suspect in custody who fatally shot another driver during a road-rage incident last week that ended with a crash into a tree.

Detectives arrested 31-year-old William John Shutt for the murder of 42-year-old Quentin Hicks and attempted murder of the second victim in the city’s Old Northeast neighborhood. They determined the shooting stemmed from a road-rage incident.

Investigators said they believe Shutt shot at the driver, Hicks, and his passenger in a BMW convertible following a traffic dispute. The BMW crashed into a tree a few blocks away on 1st Street NE near 20th Avenue NE. 

Hicks passed away from his injuries. The second victim -- who has not been named -- had serious injuries at the time. Officials said Shutt did not know the victims.

"Whenever you allow a traffic incident to turn into something that's violent, that's very serious and it can be very dangerous. We always recommend to people sometimes you just have to let it go," said Yolanda Fernandez, a spokesperson for the police department. "You can't become involved in an incident over just a traffic situation. It's just not worth it."

"People are angry, bitter, resentful. They're going through emotional trauma and they just take it out on the next person and unfortunately it's somebody that maybe passed by them or turned or whatever," added one of Hicks' neighbors who asked to not be identified. "It's horrible. It's horrible. People need to have love in their hearts."

Detectives with the St. Petersburg Police Department released surveillance video showing a blue 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe pulling away from the victim’s vehicle after shots were fired. A detective spotted the vehicle, and Shutt was arrested around 4 a.m. Wednesday after he entered his girlfriend’s home without her permission.

Shutt faces several charges including first-degree murder, attempted murder, and residential burglary.