Florida City man says he shot victim because he was bully, police say

Police say suspect said now he 'doesn't have to look over his shoulder'


FLORIDA CITY, Fla. – A Florida City man turned himself into police Sunday after he fatally shot a man earlier that day, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, the victim, Steve Jones, 45, was at a family gathering in the 700 block of Northwest Ninth Avenue about 4:45 p.m. when the suspect, Marcus Rankins, 32, drove by the home in a black Chevrolet Silverado at a high rate of speed.

Police said Jones and people at the gathering made "gestures and comments" to Rankins, and Rankins turned his truck around and pulled up to the front of the home.

Rankins got into a dispute with Jones and fired two shots in his direction, the report said.

Police said Rankins then got out of his pickup truck and chased the victim to the back of the home, where he shot him in the chest.

Police said Rankins then got back into his truck and drove away.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews took Jones to Jackson South Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said Rankins turned himself in at the police station with his father while authorities were still at the scene, and his father turned over the gun used in the shooting.

Rankins' father told detectives that his son came home and confessed to the shooting, mentioning the victim by name.

Police said Rankins claimed that he shot Jones in self-defense because the victim wanted to fight him, saying, "I shot him because he is a bully and everyone keeps saying I'm soft."

He added, "I'm glad he is dead. I don't have to look over my shoulder and him coming after me," the report said.

Detectives said Rankins also asked, "Is there a bond for homicide?"

Rankins was arrested on a second-degree murder charge.

He is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center without bond.


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