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Witness: Trooper's Killer Didn't Want to Pay for Towing

Joseph Bullock, 42, had stopped on an interstate to help
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2020 6:45 PM CST
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Col. Gene Spaulding, director of the Florida Highway Patrol, speaks at a press conference from the Martin County Sheriff's Office on the shooting death of trooper Joseph Bullock.   (Eric Hasert/TCPalm.com/USA Today Network via AP)

(Newser) – The driver of a disabled vehicle who shot to death a Florida trooper didn't want to pay for the car to be towed, a witness has said. Joseph Bullock, 42, was killed Wednesday after stopping to help the motorist on Interstate 95 in Martin County. A tow truck driver called to the scene told witnesses the suspect was irate at having to pay to tow his car, WPTV reports. He said he was able to flee when the driver's gun jammed. The gunman then was shot to death by a passing police officer. "There was six shots," Randy Pitino said. "I heard gunfire first, and then I seen gunfire back from the Riviera Beach officer."

The suspect was identified as Franklin Reed III, per CNN. The police officer wasn't injured. The director of the Florida Highway Patrol said other troopers are taking Bullock's death hard. "They're distraught. They're very upset," he said. "It's like losing a family member." (Read more state troopers stories.)

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