Communication Builds Our Community

One Dead After Shooting on Northside Drive

Polk Sheriff's Office Investigators Have Suspect in Custody


An argument between two young men who had known each other since high school near a recently-constructed county football field led to a shooting that left one dead around 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening in Lake Wales. The incident happened outside city limits near a county-owned sports park on W. Northside Drive, about 200 feet north of Washington Avenue.

Howard Davies

Polk Sheriff's Deputies sealed off the scene of an apparent murder on W. Northside Drive Tuesday evening. A shooting took the life of a young man well known to local residents.

According to a preliminary report from Polk Sheriff's investigators, Vincent Thomas, Jr., 21, arrived in a car at a residence on Northside Drive in Lake Wales with at least three friends to confront a resident at that address.

Thomas emerged from the car armed with a handgun and threatened to use it against the resident, a 20-year-old male. The resident then used a rifle to shoot at Thomas several times.

Thomas was struck at least twice, according to investigators, at which point his friends placed him back in the vehicle and fled the scene, driving him to AdventHealth Lake Wales hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Howard Davies

Polk deputies rushed to the scene of the Tuesday evening shooting and were able to arrest an unnamed suspect in the shooting death of a local resident. The fatal confrontation followed an argument between two young men at a local football practice field.

According to investigators, Thomas has prior arrests for battery on law enforcement, threats against a law enforcement officer, failure to appear, resisting arrest, and driving while his license was suspended or revoked. He was on felony probation at the time of this incident.

Two of those who had accompanied Thomas were arrested by deputies and charged with "tampering with evidence, and providing false information to law enforcement during a felony investigation" according to a statement issued by the Sheriff's Office..


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