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Murder by mistake? Man killed in Ocala forest after saying his name was “Mikey”

A rural stretch of road -- in the 3200 block of South County Road 314A -- near where a man was fatally shot on Saturday night. Image: Google Maps

A 39-year-old man was fatally shot in the face on a dark road in the Ocala National Forest Saturday night after he said his name was “Mikey.”

Marion County sheriff’s deputies say the woman who killed him mistook him for a different man — also named Michael — who may have burglarized her home and brandished a gun.

Michael Hofaker was simply walking with a female friend, carrying a backpack, a Styrofoam cup, a fishing pole and flashlight. A white car pulled up beside them. The woman in the front passenger seat asked for his name and then shot him above the right eye.

Jennifer Hill. Photo: MCSO

Deputies say 41-year-old Jennifer Sue Hill then got out of the car, looked at Hofaker and realized she had shot the wrong man. She paced around, threw the handgun down and yelled for someone to call 911.

Hill has been arrested on second-degree murder.

She told investigators Hofaker had a gun in his hand. But deputies say there’s no evidence of that.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.