Police: Florida Man ‘Looking for Someone to Kill’ Hits Veteran with Car

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a Friday news conference that Justyn Pennell was arrested following the deadly crash in Hudson. Nocco said Pennell ran over the Vietnam veteran because "he wanted to kill someone."
Pasco County Sheriff's Office

A Florida man killed a 75-year-old veteran with his car Thursday, just to see what it would be like to end someone’s life.

Authorities have charged 21-year-old Justin Pennell of Hudson, Florida, with first-degree murder after confessing to intentionally running down an elderly veteran with his 2004 PT Cruiser “so he could see what it’s like to kill.” It was Pennell himself who called 911 to report the crime, after the impact rendered his vehicle inoperable.

Dispatchers received the call at approximately 3 p,m,. Responding officers found the presently unnamed victim deceased on the side of Aripeka Road. A quarter-mile away, Pennell was waiting with his car. The vehicle reportedly sustained damage from the impact to its bumper, hood and windshield.

Pennell admitted to purposefully targeting and killing a man he did not know, and said he was “trying to understand why he did this.” A local Fox affiliate reports that Pennell explained “he saw the victim walking along the roadway with a walking stick, so he made a U-turn, accelerated and purposely ran into the man.”

He also confessed to planning the killing in advance, having thought about it for months. “While he’s driving at his victim, he could see the look of fright on the victim’s face,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said. “This man is absolutely evil.”

“There are some cases … that make us realize there are pure evil in this world,” Nocco continued. “Because of the pure evil that happened yesterday, there’s a 75-year-old man, who’s a father, a grandfather, a Vietnam War veteran, who was killed.”


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