Marion County deputies identify man killed in shooting on Ocala roadside

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — Marion County deputies say they took one person into custody Tuesday after a deadly shooting in Ocala.

Deputies were called to the 3800 block of SE 95th street around 5:30 p.m. for reports of a shooting.


READ: Brevard County case worker recalls getting call 4-year-old died in foster care

They arrived to find the victim already deceased at the scene. He’s been identified as 60-year-old Willie Jones, Jr.

Jones’ family says he had broken down on the side of the road and was looking for help when he was shot.

“He was a fun-loving guy,’ Jones’ niece Tinikqua Burt said. “Big guy, big heart.”

Burt says Jones was well known and liked in the community.

READ: LIVE UPDATES: Court in recess after first full day of testimony in Markeith Loyd murder trial

After the shooting, witnesses were able to give Marion County deputies a description of a possible suspect vehicle.

Alert deputies spotted the vehicle and followed, but the driver refused to stop.

A pursuit ensued that continued along I-75 into Sumter County before deputies were able to execute a successful P.I.T. maneuver and take the driver into custody.

UPDATE: The victim has been identified as Willie Lee Jones Jr., (B/M, DOB:6/26/61). Major Crimes detectives are still...

Posted by Marion County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The driver has been identified by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office as 30-year-old Johnnie Samuel. He’s being held with no bond in the Sumter County jail on a charge of resisting arrest. Samuel has not been officially charged or named as a suspect in Willie Jones, Jr.’s shooting death.

However, Jones’ family says he and Samuel were known to each other, and that Jones had likely helped Samuel in the past.

READ: Suspect in Idaho mall shooting that killed 2, injured 5, including Boise officer, dies, police say

“We stay together...we love each other,” Burt said. “We’re big on family, and he came along and he just tore us apart.”

The sheriff’s office says they’re still in the process of interviewing Samuel, collecting evidence, and interviewing witnesses. They haven’t named a possible motive for the shooting.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Comments on this article