Carrying the "most powerful production revolver in the world"
Carrying the "most powerful production revolver in the world," as its maker describes it, did not help a motorist in an unexplained shooting last weekend on Interstate 4.
Tamburo Hopkins never got a chance to draw his Smith & Wesson 500, Orlando police reports show.
"It happened too fast for me to shoot back," Hopkins, 29, of Altamonte Springs told police after a shotgun blast riddled his purple Toyota Camry late Saturday.
Police first learned of the shooting about 11 p.m. when Hopkins drove to Florida Hospital seeking medical care for a passenger.
"I've been shot in the head," Surrey Kali Washington, 27, of Orlando, called out to two police officers outside the emergency room at 601 Rollins St., reports show. ER staff placed Washington on a stretcher and rushed him into a trauma room, where he was treated for non-life-threatening wounds, reports show.
Hopkins and his other passenger, Tromone Neal, 26, of Orlando, told investigators they were driving west on I-4 through the Fairbanks curves when a small white Chevrolet pickup truck pulled alongside their car and opened fire, reports show.
A crime-scene technician found three holes in the passenger side of Hopkins' car in addition to a blown-out front-seat window and $1,000 in damage.
Plastic wadding from a shotgun shell lay on the floorboards, where it landed after being fired along with shotgun pellets into the car, reports show.
"It should be noted, due to the placement of the shots into the vehicle at head level, it appears to this officer that the suspects intended to murder the occupants of the vehicle," wrote Officer Robert Anderson.
None of the three had any idea why someone would shoot at them on the highway, they told police.
Orange County Jail and state prison records show Washington has been arrested more than a dozen times on charges of drugs and violence, including attempted murder. He was sentenced in May to three years of community supervision for dealing cocaine.
Hopkins holds a state concealed-weapon permit that allows him to carry his weapon almost anywhere he goes in Florida and 31 other states recognizing Florida's right-to-carry-a-pistol permit, records show.
The handgun Hopkins did not have time to draw fires a .50-caliber Magnum bullet.
Gun reviews state it is not suitable for carrying as a concealed weapon, partly because it is one of the largest pistols on the market and it weighs about 5 pounds.
Smith & Wesson introduced its super handgun in 2003 and reclaimed its title as maker of the world's most powerful handgun, which it held in the 1970s when Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry movies popularized the Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum.
Hopkins could not be reached for comment. Orlando police are asking anyone who saw the shooting late Saturday on I-4 to call Crimeline at 407-423-8477.