Mississippi man charged with murder after reportedly killing boss, shooting co-worker on Florida work trip

Published 1:16 pm Friday, January 26, 2024

A Mississippi man was arrested for murder after he allegedly killed his boss and attempted to shoot a coworker on a Florida work trip.

The Florida Alligator, a University of Florida news website, reports that James Tate, 28, has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and grand theft auto and has been booked into the Alachua County Jail Friday morning.

Tate, his boss and a co-worker traveled from Mississippi to Gainesville for a demolition project.

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While staying at a Gainsville Airbnb, Tate reportedly retrieved a bag from his boss’s truck that contained a handgun and cash and then re-entered the house, kicking in the door to his boss’s bedroom. Tate reportedly then shot his boss multiple times.

When Tate tried to enter a co-worker’s bedroom, he found the door locked and then shot into the door multiple times. The co-worker escaped through a window and suffered multiple lacerations.

Tate reportedly then fled the scene after stealing the keys from his boss’s truck. Tate led officers on a high-speed chase on Interstate 75. During the chase, Tate lost control of the vehicle and crashed into another vehicle after striking stop sticks laid out by deputies.

Tate reportedly told investigators that he did not know why he did what he did. Days before the crime, Tate reportedly had run out of fentanyl and had been sick since then.

He reportedly told investigators that he planned to flee to New Orleans, where he would buy more drugs and then kill himself.