Orlando man accused in Turnpike shooting: This is a misunderstanding

By Jerry Hume and Bailey Myers, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Monday, November 27, 2017, 12:38 PM EST

The Orlando man accused of injuring two people on Florida's Turnpike over the weekend in a road rage incident says he'd been up for two days and mistook the victims for gang members.

The man, 33-year-old Kwanza Donald is being held at the Lake County Jail and is charged with two counts of attempted murder. He did not say much when he appeared before a judge Monday. The judge issued a $120,000 bond.

According to an arrest report, Donald told Florida Highway Patrol troopers that he believed someone was trying to kill him and that is why he fired shots at another car on the Florida's Turnpike.

He told investigators he was living out of his car and was commuting between Florida and Texas.

"I was talking to the police, telling them I needed help, I needed help," Donald said Monday. "But nobody helped, everyone was just laughing at me, saying I was smoking something. But little did they know I've been up for two days." 

Donald also said he was dehydrated and hadn't had anything to eat for a while.

It was on Saturday when investigators say Donald, in his Toyota Camry, fired about a dozen rounds at a red Chevy Impala as both vehicles were heading south on the Turnpike near State Road 50.

A 37-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl from Miami inside the Impala were shot. Both were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.

Donald told investigators he did not know the two victims, but their vehicle looked similar to a vehicle that had been shooting at him in Texas and Georgia.

However, troopers say Donald provided no evidence that anyone was trying to kill him. They used surveillance video from the scene to identify his vehicle.

According to the police report, a handgun was found inside his car.