Fugitive may be headed to S. Fla.

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office seeks shooting suspect Joe 'J' Fernandez

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office is seeking 36-year-old Joe "J" Fernandez, formerly of Miami Beach, in connection with the shooting of 32-year old Tamera Sheffield in Fort Walton Beach.

Warrants charging Fernandez with attempted murder, robbery, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon were issued on Thursday night.

Fernandez is believed to be in the company of 21-year old Kiera Bethune of Fort Walton Beach, who is now listed as missing and possibly endangered.

Investigators say the pair could be traveling in a gray, 4-door Hyundai with Florida license tag 957 OJH, stolen out of Crestview.

Sheffield told Okaloosa investigators that Fernandez is an acquaintance who drove up to her home on Thornhill Road, asked to borrow money, and then demanded her cash. When she refused, he shot her multiple times.

After the shooting, Fernandez then got back in his car and fled. The car was later recovered by the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Fernandez or Bethune is asked to contact the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office at 850-651-7420 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 850-863-TIPS.

Anyone who sees Fernandez or the car he is believed to be driving should call local law enforcement and do not attempt to make contact.

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