UPDATE 11 a.m.: FORT WALTON BEACH — Tim Anderson, the man accused of shooting and killing an Uber driver on Okaloosa Island Sunday morning, made his first appearance via video conference before Okaloosa County Judge Angela Mason at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
The judge ordered him held without bond after hearing arguments from the public defender’s office and Chief Assistant State Attorney Bill Bishop.
When he first appeared on video before the judge, Anderson asked Mason her name. When she told him, “Judge Mason,” he congratulated her on a recent Destin Log article covering Mason’s swearing in as an Okaloosa County Judge.
“I saw you on the front of the Destin Log,” Anderson said. “I saw you get sworn in with your husband. Congratulations.”
Mason thanked him, then made sure he understood his Miranda rights and clarified that he was being appointed a public defender.
“Mr. Anderson, you know you’re charged with first degree premeditated murder,” Mason said as she addressed Anderson.
“That is unheard of as I explained this morning,” Anderson replied.
Mason cut Anderson off, clarifying that he understood his charges. He agreed, and the public defender’s office advised Anderson to not speak any further and only answer Mason’s questions.
In arguments before the judge, the public defender’s office said that they objected to the probable cause affidavit used to arrest Anderson, saying it wasn’t clear that he was the person who hailed the Uber on Sunday and there were other reasons he could have been seen running away from the car.
Chief Assistant State Attorney Bill Bishop disagreed, saying he believed the state had presented sufficient evidence to warrant Anderson’s arrest for murder.
Mason agreed there was probable cause and denied Anderson bond.
DESTIN — The man charged with first degree homicide in the shooting death of an Uber driver was a former taxi driver who had a history of animosity towards app-based rideshare companies Uber and Lyft.
Timothy Layne Anderson, 35, of Bayou Drive in Destin, was arrested Tuesday night after being linked to the killing of 29-year-old Uber driver Filip Kirilov. Police say Kirilov died after being shot multiple times inside his van, which had been discovered around 6:30 a.m. Sunday with the engine still running at the intersection of Nautilus Court and Porpoise Street, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
In a 911 call recording released Wednesday morning by the Sheriff’s Office, on the morning of June 24 a man told dispatchers he had just showed up for work when he found the blue van in the middle of the intersection and a person apparently dead of gunshot wounds in the driver’s seat.
“There’s blood on the floor, a bullet hole in the window, and I can see on the window he has an Uber tag inside,” the caller said. “The guy’s got blood on his shirt and he looks like he’s honestly not alive.”
Investigators say they obtained audio and video footage from inside Kirilov’s van containing a recording of a man’s voice telling Kirilov where to drop him off. Thirty seconds later, the first gunshot is heard, followed by two more, and video of a man authorities say is Anderson shows him running south, away from the van, according to the report.
The Sheriff's Office says Anderson obtained a prepaid mobile phone from Walmart 11 days prior to the shooting and used it, along with the false name “Joe Smith,” to hail the Uber cab early Sunday morning. Investigators say he shot Kirilov three times before fleeing. Kirilov is believed to have died at 4:37 a.m. Sunday.
Anderson was arrested Tuesday night after being brought in for questioning. He is being held in the Okaloosa County Jail while he awaits his first appearance. Jail records do not list an attorney for Anderson.
Authorities have not released a motive in the shooting, but documents obtained by the Northwest Florida Daily News show Anderson has a history going back at least three years of frustration with Uber and Lyft.
In an interview with the Destin Log in July 2015, Anderson said he had plans to band together with other local taxi drivers to file a class action lawsuit against Uber. He claimed rideshare drivers were operating illegally and taking money away from taxi cab operators.
“The thing that made me write the lawsuit was the overwhelming amount of incidents of operating without a for-hire permit,” Anderson told the Log in 2015. “We’ve got 100 records of law violations, and what I have a problem with is, there are no warnings to the drivers of Uber or Lyft that they are breaking the law or are subject to arrest.”
It’s unclear if Anderson ever moved forward with filing a lawsuit in 2015. He did, however, file a federal lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in Pensacola on Dec. 7, 2017 on behalf of himself, two other people and “a growing class of nationally permitted drivers who drive or have driven a for-hire vehicle with a permit for income.”
In the 120-page complaint filed with the court, which he appeared to write himself, Anderson takes issue with Uber’s marketing and recruiting strategies for drivers, and says the company cost taxi cab drivers fare money in places where the company operated.
“Effectually, the permitted drivers (taxi cab drivers) were finding less people who needed rides and (losing) the income they had the right to earn,” the lawsuit alleged.
Anderson did not have a lawyer in the case and asked the court to appoint him one; however, a judge noted that he had not made any apparent attempts to find his own legal counsel and deferred his motion to certify the lawsuit as a class action lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleged Uber participated in false advertising, unfair competition and “obtaining money by means of false or fraudulent pretenses,” according to court records.
The most recent action taken in the case was June 13, the same day authorities say Anderson went to Walmart and bought the burner phone he used to hail the Uber the day he allegedly shot Kirilov. According to court records, Anderson attempted to serve Uber via the U.S. Marshals Service, but the service was returned unexecuted because the U.S. Marshals Service said “it is not defendant’s agent for service of process.”
After the failed service, the judge said Anderson had 14 days to serve the defendant or the suit would be dismissed.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office has not confirmed any motive in the shooting. Sheriff Larry Ashley is expected to address potential motives at a press conference Wednesday at 3 p.m.
In addition to civil court filings, Anderson had a lengthy criminal history in Okaloosa County. Court records show 37 separate closed cases against Anderson dating back to 1999, including 11 separate charges of failure to pay tolls, 12 speeding tickets, cocaine possession, narcotics equipment possession and marijuana possession.
He also was convicted of two DUIs, one in 2004 and one in 2010.
Anderson was scheduled to make his first appearance in an Okaloosa County courthouse at 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to Chief Assistant State Attorney Bill Bishop.