by: Jason Kelly Updated:
ORLANDO, Fla. - The 53-year-old owner of a towing company was fatally shot Tuesday at his downtown business after he was confronted by the 35-year-old owner of an impounded car, Orlando police said.
Tremain Polk, of Winter Garden, shot Paul Gren shortly before 6 p.m. at the Tow Truck Co. at West Robinson Street and Beggs Avenue, Orlando police Lt. Jonathan Bigelow said.
Gunfire could be heard over the phone as an employee called 911 to report that an irate customer was trying to retrieve his vehicle from the tow yard without paying, an arrest affidavit said. Police would not say from where the car was towed before the confrontation.
The worker said Polk had $135, but when she told him the bill would be $285, he became upset and tried to push open a door to a secured office, the report said.
Polk left when the worker threatened to call police, but while she was helping another customer, she saw Polk's car being driven toward a gate, so she and Gren ran outside, records said.
"Polk exited his vehicle and unsuccessfully attempted to open the bay door manually," the affidavit said.
Records said the employee positioned herself between Polk and the button to open the gate, and he came toward her aggressively, so she pushed him back.
Gren produced a gun, held it by his side and told Polk to wait for police, but he said he wanted to leave, so an employee opened a door to let him out, the report said.
The employee said Polk took two steps, turned toward Gren, drew a gun from his waistband and shot Gren three times from point-blank range, the report said.
Sophie Grant, who owns a restaurant across the street from the tow yard, said she heard the gunfire that killed Gren, who she said was a frequent customer.
"I heard something -- boom, boom, boom -- three times," she said. "It sounded like a grenade. I don't know what type of gun. It was really powerful."
Polk left the business and scaled a barbed-wire fence to get back into the tow yard, where he broke the windows of three cars with an unknown object, investigators said.
Police said Polk parked his vehicle in the back lot, jumped several fences and left the business again.
Investigators said officers found Polk at the loading dock of a business on West Livingston Street, where he was arrested.
Gren was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Polk was booked into the Orange County Jail on first-degree murder and armed burglary charges. He faced a judge Wednesday and was ordered held without bail.
The shooting remains under investigation.
Channel 9's Cuthbert Langley learned that Polk was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison in 2000 for robbery. He was also convicted of attempted robbery, burglary and grand theft, criminal records showed. He was released from prison in 2012.
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