Polk County Sheriff’s deputies charged an Auburndale man with five counts Attempted First Degree Murder today, June 5, 2010, after he went on a 5-mile shooting spree on US Hwy 92 West in Lakeland late Friday, June 4th
According to the affidavit, Robin Parks, DOB 5/8/59, of 915 Keith Lane in Auburndale, at approximately 30 minutes after midnight on Friday night June 4th (AKA early morning hours Saturday, June 5th), while driving eastbound on US Hwy 92 West from the intersection of Gary Road to the intersection of Fish Hatchery Road (1.8 miles), fired 2 rounds from his Smith & Wesson .357 caliber revolver into the driver’s side of a 2004 Dodge mini-van, also being driven eastbound on US Hwy 92 West by Doyle Tucker of Lakeland. Tucker was in the mini-van with his wife, Cristal, and their 17-year-old son, Zachery. The Tucker family had earlier that evening attended Zachery’s graduation ceremony from Auburndale High School, and then gone to an I-Hop Restaurant to celebrate. They were heading home when the shooting occurred.
One of the bullets fired by Parks entered through the driver’s side passenger door and struck Zachery Tucker in the buttocks. Zachery told his dad he was hurt, at which point Mr. Tucker observed an unknown male pointing a firearm at them from the vehicle next to them. Mr. Tucker immediately made a U-turn to get away from the suspect vehicle and to take his son to Lakeland Regional Medical Center. En-route to LRMC, Mr. Tucker spotted a Lakeland Police Officer parked at the Al E. Gator’s bar, so he pulled over to inform the officer that his son, and their vehicle, had been shot.
Approximately 5 minutes after the first shooting, around 35 minutes after midnight, between Fish Hatchery Road and Reynolds Road (.2 miles), Parks fired a bullet into a 2003 Kia being driven by 30-year-old Katrina Hines of Haines City. The bullet entered through the driver’s side window and struck Ms. Hines in her left cheek, exiting through her right cheek. Ms. Hines was ultimately admitted to LRMC, where she underwent surgery for her serious injuries. She remains at LRMC.
Approximately 3 minutes later, around 38 minutes after midnight, between Reynolds Road and the 1100 block of US Hwy 92 West (a distance of 3 miles) Parks fired one bullet into the right front door of a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu being driven by 20-year-old Robert Handy of Winter Haven. Mr. Handy lowered the passenger side window to determine the source of the noise, and heard Parks utter a racial slur against him. Parks then intentionally and repeatedly side-swiped and rammed Handy’s vehicle, until both cars were damaged to the point of inoperability. Handy’s car came to rest along US Hwy 92 West, and Parks’ car came to rest in a culvert, approximately .5 mile west of the Polk Parkway.
Deputies arrived on-scene within minutes of the vehicle crash, and placed Parks under arrest. Parks was taken to LRMC to be treated for minor wounds received during the crash, at which time his Blood Alcohol Level was tested and shown to be .226. Handy was treated and released at the scene by EMS.
According to Parks’ wife, who is out of town on a business trip, Parks was laid off from the U.S. Postal Service in December 2009, but this has not yet been confirmed by detectives. Parks did not give detectives a reason for the shooting spree, but made spontaneous statements that he thought people were after him or were shooting him and he was defending himself. His .357 revolver was recovered from his vehicle after the incident, along with 4 spent shell casings. There was one live round left in the gun.
“Robin Parks’ statements to detectives are bizarre, and they have no merit,” said Sheriff Grady Judd, “but we do know one thing – he went on a shooting spree, and he is a very dangerous man. Our goal is to see that he doesn’t breathe another breath of air outside of jail.”