Arrest in Interstate shooting; Baffles Investigator - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Birmingham man, 37, charged with murder in interstate shooting; case baffling to Tuscaloosa investigators

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Roderick Washington Roderick Washington
TUSCALOOSA - AL -

    Tuscaloosa Homicide Investigators have charged 37-year old Roderick Washington, Jr. with the shooting death of 40-year old Frederick Blakely.

     The bizarre incident happened on I-59 in the southbound lane near Exit 100 Thursday night.

     Authorities say according to witnesses, it appeared the two men...who don't know each other...revved up motors to challenge a race down the interstate.

"I don't think it was racing as for a start-finish line.  I think one car was driving at a high rate of speed.  And another one decided my car can run as fast as yours and they just chose to kind of pace each other," said Sgt. Dale Phillips who heads the Tuscaloosa Metro Homicide Unit.

     It turned into an interstate nightmare when the two men crashed.  Police say Washington got out of his car and shot  Blakely once in the chest, killing him.

     Investigators say they do not have a motive for the shooting and declined to say whether Washington was cooperating in the investigation.

     Washington is from Birmingham.  Blakely lived in Tuscaloosa.

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