Palmetto police have person of interest in shooting death

October 8, 2012 

PALMETTO — Palmetto police say they have a person of interest in the shooting death of a 25-year-old man on Friday.

Also, detectives have interviewed a passenger who was in a car with Jesse Schwartzman when he was shot to death. He told investigators that he does not know the people who killed Schwartzman, police said Monday.

Although the passenger’s first interview so far has not been helpful, a request for a computer-enhanced picture of the truck containing the shooter or shooters is expected to be completed shortly, which might move the case forward, said Deputy Chief Scott Tyler of the Palmetto Police Department.

Tyler said on Monday that despite the setbacks, the department does have a person of interest in the death of Schwartzman, the 25-year-old who was fatally shot in the head on Friday night while driving down 10th Street West in Palmetto.

Investigators are not ready to reveal the identity of the person, however, until they have confirmed a few more facts in the case.

“We don’t want to discuss the identity of the person or what their motive might have been at this time,” Tyler said.

One of those facts waiting to be confirmed is the exact make of the truck used in the shooting. Palmetto police are enhancing the image they obtained from surveillance video that shows a black, full-size, four-door pickup truck pulling into the Citgo station in the 200 block of 10th Street West.

The police need to be 100 percent sure if the truck is a Nissan, Dodge or something else in order before they can link it to possible suspects, Tyler said.

“We are eager to identify the black truck,” Tyler said. “People seem to think it’s a Nissan or Dodge, but we don’t want to close down other possibilities. We would also like to know where it is right now. Until we know these answers, we are not prepared to reveal what we think is the sequence of events.”

Surveillance video does show the truck pulled into the gas station about the same time that Schwartzman was parked out front while his passenger went inside.

As Schwartzman left the gas station driving east, the truck pulled up beside the car and occupants inside began firing, Tyler said.

“We spoke at length,” Tyler said of the passenger. “He claims he and Mr. Schwartzman were just acquaintances. He claims not to have known the shooters. We are talking him at his word. He did not help us move forward in the case.”

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