Man Driving on Highway Thought He Was Fishing: Deputies

Ellis told detectives he did not remember shooting from his vehicle.

Saturday, Dec 15, 2012  |  Updated 12:58 PM EDT
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St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office

Thomas P. Ellis, 55

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A sleep-deprived Port Charlotte man was arrested after deputies said he fired a gun while driving on Interstate-95.

Thomas P. Ellis, 55, was arrested Friday and faces charges including firing a weapon from a vehicle and carrying a prohibited weapon openly, according to online records. He was held in jail on $15,375 bond.

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office detectives said Ellis was apprehended after shooting out of his Ford Bronco, which he was driving southbound on I-95.

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“For some reason, during the holiday season, we often hear of random gun violence resulting in tragedy,” said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara. “Fortunately, in this case, it does not appear that bullets struck any persons or vehicles."

Ellis was found with a Smith and Wesson .44-caliber magnum revolver, a live cartridge and five spent casings.

The man told detectives he was on his way to Merritt Island when he stopped to fish and fire his gun at paper targets. When detectives told him he was firing from his car, he appeared worried and said he had not slept in four days, according to authorities.

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Ellis, who was also driving in the opposite direction of Merritt Island, also didn’t remember shooting from his car, detectives said.

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