Rupert Harty: West Palm Beach police arrest man in two separate bicyclist shootings
Harty 'heard a voice tell him to go kill someone'
Jeff Skrzypek , Dan Corcoran
12:46 AM, Feb 8, 2013
7:15 AM, Feb 9, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- After two separate shootings of bicyclists on West Palm Beach streets, police have arrested a man who they say claims he "heard a voice tell him to go kill someone."
Rupert O'Neil Harty, 31, has been charged with first-degree murder in the Dec. 22 shooting death of Amaria Grant.
Harty has also been charged with attempted murder in the Feb. 1 shooting of a male bicyclist, Johnathan Overstreet, at the intersection of Broadway and 48th Street in West Palm Beach, according to Capt. David Berhardt.
"I have no idea, they keep quiet. It's shocking," said Kiasha Fleming who lives across the street from a listed address of Harty.
Other neighbors said that they have heard lots of yelling in the backyard of the home, but it never sounded serious.
"That's crazy, my cousins play outside here. Football and basketball, so that's crazy," said Devin Riley, a neighbor who lives behind the listed address of Harty.
Investigators said it was surveillance footage that was crucial in dwindling down the cab company that employed Harty.
Police said when they went to the Yellow Cab dispatch center in Suburban West Palm Beach, they questioned Harty and eventually got a search warrant to look through the cab. That is where police said they uncovered evidence that lead them to an arrest.
An attempt was made to speak with the cab company on Friday. A manager did not want to comment and referred all questions to a lawyer.
Attorney Neil Schiller said Hartly has a clean record with the company and it never had any issues with him.
The company's lawyer said Harty's record at the company is clean and they've never had any issues with him.
"This clearly is an isolated incident that for one reason or another, this driver made bad choices that particular day and hopefully he'll be held accountable," said Schiller by phone.
Harty was denied bond when he appeared before a judge on Friday morning. He faces a charge of first degree murder.
West Palm Beach Police said officers will continue to follow up on leads and believe they will uncover more potential victims.
Overstreet was rushed to St. Mary's Medical Center with 'serious' gunshot wounds, and is still alive, Bernhardt said. Police were looking to question the occupant of a taxi cab in connection with that shooting.
Investigators say Grant, who was working as a nanny, was on her bicycle on South Olive Avenue near Edmor Road when Harty approached her and opened fire three days before Christmas.
Grant died from multiple gunshot wounds at the scene.
According to police documents, Harty told investigators he was sitting at his home on December 22, when he 'heard a voice tell him to go kill someone.'
Investigators say he drove in his taxi cab for about twenty minutes before parking on a side street and walking up to Grant while she was on her bike.
Documents show that a 9mm handgun may have been used in that shooting. Grant left the scene in the cab and drove home, documents show.
Harty was arrested on an unrelated charge on Thursday night and interviewed by detectives at the West Palm Beach Police Department. It was at that time that police say Harty confessed to killing Grant.
Police are still investigating both shootings and do not anticipate any other arrests.