Florida man shot woman pregnant with twins multiple times over Palmetto crash: MCSO

A Riverview man was arrested after authorities say he shot a pregnant woman multiple times in a road rage incident after a crash in Palmetto

"First thing she said when she woke up, ‘is my mom still alive?’" said a person close to the family of victims. 

FOX 13 spoke to a man close to the family, who asked not to be identified out of fear of what happened. 

"They actually seen him in the rearview mirror weaving in and out of traffic before coming and the road gets really narrow there," he said. 

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Vincent Steele, 50, was charged with five counts of attempted murder after a road rage shooting on Sunday stemming from a crash.

On Sunday at around 5:30 p.m., a pickup truck was traveling north on Business U.S. 41 north in Palmetto when a BMW sedan, driven by Steele, attempted to pass it in the merge lane.


The truck's front bumper collided with Steele's rear bumper, causing Steele to lose control and spin off into the grassy shoulder in the 6900 block of U.S. 41.

The driver of the truck pulled over to check on the BMW and when he did, the man close to the family said, "they just started hearing gunshots, and they said they could actually hear the bullets and the ricochets actually hitting the vehicle, and it stunned them, and they said he couldn’t take off or leave, because he was in shock."

According to MCSO, the victim stopped to check on the driver, at which point Steele got out of his BMW, ran up to the victim's passenger door, and fired seven rounds into the truck.

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"We had somebody who was just being impatient, so it would appear to try and get around this truck. Ended up causing an accident and then taking it to a whole other level," said Randy Warren with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. 

A 36-year-old female passenger, who was pregnant with twins, was struck three times in the lower torso. The woman's fiancée had been driving the pickup truck, and when he realized she had been injured, he drove her to Manatee Memorial Hospital. 

MCSO reported neither of the babies were struck by a bullet. She was later taken to Tampa General Hospital and has been in and out of surgery all day long, according to the family friend. 

"We know that the driver of the sedan, the BMW our suspect is the one who fired multiple bullets into that car. He had a choice not to fire his gun at that vehicle knowing there were multiple occupants inside," said Warren. 

The driver, 57, and a 9-year-old female passenger were uninjured. Steele remained on scene after the shooting and spoke with deputies before being arrested.

As Steele made his first court appearance, his family members spoke out on his behalf. His daughter, Adora Steele, told the judge he was on his way back from picking up his wife, who was sick, from work. 

"My father has always been a good person at heart, never really been an aggressor at heart," she said. 

Deputies said Steele made the choice to fire the gun. 

"The twins, the unborn twins of the female, are fighting for their life right now, and if they do in fact lose that fight he will be looking at murder charges," said the state attorney’s office. 

The suspect remains in the Manatee County Jail, and he is expected to have a pre-trial hearing on Friday morning. Charges could be upgraded depending on the health of the woman and her babies. 

Those close to the family are asking others to slow down and be patient on the road. 

"Traffic is bad in Florida. We all know that traffic is bad in Florida, we’ve got to take our time. There’s no point in getting in a hurry at 5 o' clock at night whether it’s a Monday or Sunday. It’s all rush hour traffic in Florida. You don’t know who is in that other car. You don’t know life choices or what’s going on in their lives," said the family friend. 

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