Passenger in Palmetto Expressway shooting killed less than an hour after jail release

20-year-old arrested night before after detective finds loaded gun in car

The passenger in a car shot with bullets on the Palmetto Expressway died less than an hour after he was released from jail.

HIALEAH, Fla. – Police are still looking for the person who shot two people on the Palmetto Expressway after firing a barrage of bullets into a red Nissan Altima around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The car crashed into a barrier wall and dozens of casings were left on the roadway leaving traffic snarled for hours as the investigation covered a large swath of the expressway.

The passenger identified as 20-year-old Timothy Starks was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, 20-year-old Dante Collins Banks, was airlifted to the hospital. Banks’ mother said she was on the phone with her son when the shooting began.

She also told Local 10 News that Banks had just picked up Starks from jail shortly before the shooting.

Documents show that he was arrested during a traffic stop in Opa-locka on Tuesday, March 15, the day before the shooting after a traffic stop where a loaded gun was found.

According to an arrest report, a detective saw a gray Infiniti with a temporary tag traveling westbound on Opa Locka Boulevard; an obstruction over the tag made the license plate number unreadable.

The detective stopped the vehicle at Opa Locka Boulevard and NW 19th Ave., and while approaching the car stated that he noticed the driver reaching over to the front passenger area as if to conceal something.

The driver, later identified as Starks, was asked to step out of the car and after a search inside the Infiniti, a fully loaded firearm not in a holster was found in the glove compartment.

Starks was arrested and taken into custody at 9:45 p.m.

A corrections department document stated that Starks was released at 2:10 p.m. Wednesday after posting bond.

The shooting that killed him happened less than an hour later and a little over 5 miles or 11 minutes from the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center where Starks had been held overnight.

“Detectives are looking at every motive or every bit of information based on the evidence they have here at the scene,” said Miami-Dade Police detective Angel Rodriguez.

The gunman, who was last seen speeding away in a dark-colored vehicle, remains the subject of a massive manhunt.


About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.