In an effort to jump-start the investigation into the shooting death of a Maine man last month on a Pennsylvania highway, police released new details Wednesday, including a portion of the 911 call that Timothy Davison made just before he was killed.
His mother, Theresa Allocca of Poland, doesn’t want to hear it.
“The last thing he said to me was that he loved me, and I want to remember that,” Allocca said Wednesday as she clutched a picture of her son. “I don’t want to hear his stress and, as a mother, pick up on all those horrifying moments.”
Davison was driving north to Maine on Jan. 4 after a family gathering in Florida when he called 911 in Maryland to report that a driver was chasing him on Interstate 81 and firing shots at his car, police have said. That call was dropped as Davison crossed the state line into Pennsylvania. He called 911 again, connecting with Pennsylvania dispatchers.
On the tape, Davison sounds surprisingly calm, telling the dispatcher that he had been run off the road into the highway median.
Police say someone shot Davison moments later, at 2 a.m., then drove off, reversing direction and going south on the interstate.
On Wednesday, police said paint marks left on Davison’s Mitsubishi Montero had been identified as “dark lapis,” a color used on Ford Rangers from 1993 to 1997. The color is a deep blue that is almost black.
Pennsylvania police asked to be contacted if any auto body shop or insurance company in the area handled a damage claim for that type of vehicle, with damage on the driver’s side. They also asked the public to report anyone who owns a similar vehicle and may have been acting strangely in the days after the shooting.
Police also continued to search for witnesses who may have seen either vehicle that night.
“We are confident that the suspect vehicle and its driver were observed by several motorists on Interstate 81 between Martinsburg, West Virginia Exit 16 and Interstate 70 in Maryland near Exit 10,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Adam Kosheba said in a prepared statement Wednesday. “We also believe that several motorists in Pennsylvania along Interstate 81 south in the vicinity of Exit 3 observed the victim’s vehicle in the median and possibly the suspect vehicle in the area at the time the homicide occurred.”
Police asked anyone with information to call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (800) 4PA-TIPS. They also announced that the $10,000 reward offered by authorities has been matched by $10,000 offered by Davison’s family for information leading to the capture of the killer.
Davison’s family plans to launch a website as soon as this week to offer tributes to Davison and solicit tips. There will be a section for people who want to donate toward the reward.
MOTHER FILLED WITH QUESTIONS
Allocca said it’s important to catch the killer to ensure justice for her son, “but more importantly, there’s a murderer still out there and I would not want another family to ever go through what has happened to my family and all my son’s friends.”
Allocca said she is frustrated that the investigation hasn’t progressed more quickly.
“I have a lot more questions than I have answers, and I think the police are feeling the same way,” she said.
Among her questions: Was just one person involved? Did the killer catch up with her son when he slowed down to get off the interstate?
“I’m sure he’s quite capable of going 100 mph and would … before he let someone catch him,” she said.
Maryland troopers were first to arrive at the scene. Allocca wonders why Pennsylvania troopers, covering a rural area at 2 a.m., didn’t get there sooner, and whether it was because they didn’t have enough officers.
“I pray for the people there every night,” she said. “From what I understand, they haven’t changed police coverage.”
Police initially investigated whether the killing was related to an incident 60 miles away earlier that night, in which someone in a vehicle shot into a car, leaving a slug lodged behind the driver’s head. They determined that it was unrelated.
Allocca remains skeptical, thinking it’s more likely that someone tried and failed to shoot a motorist, then sought out another victim.
WHAT WERE LAST 10 MINUTES LIKE?
The mystery of the motivation for the shooting has left other family members on edge. Allocca agreed to work with the media to keep others in the family out of the public eye. Meanwhile, Davison’s father, Tim Davison, has communicated with authorities in Pennsylvania.
Allocca said she doesn’t want to hear her son’s voice on the 911 calls, but she does want to read the transcripts and has requested them.
“He was on the phone for about 10 minutes that we can tell. I think it’s important for us to know what those last 10 minutes were. … Right before the phone call was dropped, he asked, ‘Should I get off at the next exit?’ ” she said. “When he called 911 he had already been run off the road at that point, and that’s when the person shot him.”
A lawmaker from Pennsylvania had requested more funding for the emergency dispatch centers in that part of the state even before the shooting, she said. Since then, some money has been allocated to improving radio communications, but not in the area where her son was shot, she said.
Allocca wonders whether the outcome would have been different if her son had not lost contact with the dispatcher.
She last saw her son while they were vacationing with family members in Florida. They visited Davison’s 22-year-old sister, who had just moved to the Orlando area after graduating from college, then visited Allocca’s father and brother.
Her father, 82, is an accomplished tenor saxophonist and played for them. Her brother put on a big barbecue in Fort Myers before she flew back to Maine.
Davison then visited a friend on San Marcos for New Year’s. He left his sister in Orlando at 4 p.m. on Jan. 3 to start the 24-hour drive back to Maine.
Allocca said her son, known to his friends as “Asti,” lived his life spontaneously, for the moment.
“I don’t think he would have asked for a better ending for his life,” she said, referring to the trip to Florida. “It was a great end to his story … everything except for those last 20 minutes.”