Bullet that killed man strikes next to 'Why me' tattoo
By Henry Pierson Curtis | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted November 17, 2005, 1:04 PM EST
A bullet that killed an Orlando man late Wednesday struck him in the chest within inches of a tattoo asking the eternal question, "WHY ME."
Zaus Walker collapsed after stumbling through traffic across Lee Road after the 9 p.m. shooting.
Death caught up with him on the shoulder of Lee Road, an area west of Interstate 4 long known for late-night sales of drugs.
Little could be learned about Walker's 38-year life by midday today other than the years he spent in state prisons for trying to kill someone and dealing crack cocaine.
His first stint behind bars began in 1989 when he received 5 years for selling cocaine and trying to kill someone a year earlier in Hillsborough County, state prison records show.
Less than 18 months later, Walker had returned to the street long enough to get arrested again in 1991 and sentenced to 2 years for dealing cocaine. Except for a few months, he spent the next 13 years in prison until his release on March 1, 2004, records show.
Besides his WHY ME tattoo, Walker's tattoos included a wolf and a Playboy bunny inked on his back.
Within moments of his collapse Wednesday night, a second man ran up and appeared to quickly search Walker's pockets before running away, according to passing motorists on Lee Road.
"I heard a pop, and I saw the man drop to the ground," said Jeffrey Jenkins , describing how the victim fell outside the front of a Home Depot store.
Jenkins, a chef at Walt Disney World , tried to help by pressing an apron against the bullet hole in Walker's chest to stop the flow of blood.
Paramedics rushed Walker to Orlando Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Orange County deputies and homicide investigators spent the night searching for the man who patted down Walker's body and questioning people in the area.
Orange County Jail records show Walker, who occasionally went by the name "Mike, " had lived in the Orlando area since Jan. 18, 2005 when he was charged with stealing a car. Listing himself as a transient, he subsequently was arrested twice more on charges of selling cocaine, giving false identification to law enforcement and possession of a controlled substance.