Road Rage Shooting Deemed Self Defense
FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA — A motorist swerved into oncoming traffic but corrected just prior to colliding with another vehicle. That vehicle’s driver, identified as Don William Alvarez, 27, swerved around and pursued. Unfortunately, that pursuit concluded with Alvarez being fatally shot in what the Broward County Sheriff’s Office is saying is consistent with a self defense shooting.
This is a tragic case that could have been resolved without the use of force on behalf of Alvarez. The motorist-in-question was certainly in the wrong for veering into oncoming traffic but aggrivating matters further by pursuing that driver and getting out of the car on foot to confront him was likely at the heart of how the situation escalated into a defensive gun use, according to the news report submitted by Florida’s Local 10 News.
The best way to have dealt with this situation is to report the driver to authorities who would then be able to pursue the case. Alvarez’s girlfriend, who was a passenger in the vehicle, took cell phone video that the Sheriff’s Office was then able to corroborate with the driver’s story. That video also indicated that Alvarez exited his own vehicle to pursue the driver — likely resulting in that driver feeling threatened and using deadly force to protect himself from possible assault.
This is how a bad situation gets even worse by overheated emotions.
There are plenty of bad drivers out on the road. While it is important to stay safe and report bad driving to the proper authorities, it is no man’s duty to physically accost said motorists. And we see, in this particular tale, how trying to do so can jeopardize a person’s life unnecessarily.
Because of the nature of the case, the homicide is being referred to the state attorney’s office where charges will be determined if any will exist. The driver may still be held accountable for his actions related to operating his vehicle but the shooting is being considered as self defense.
Road rage is a serious problem and it’s important to realize that no matter how justified a person may feel in taking the law into his or her own hands, it’s truly up to a court of law to determine wrongdoing — not the individual. As concealed carriers, we are responsible for protecting our own lives, that of our families, and our property. Threats to any of those must be considered with that full weight of our right to protect our lives. We don’t, however, have a free pass to endanger the lives of others through reckless actions on the road.
While we’re glad that the driver was able to defend his life appropriately, it’s truly unfortunate that anyone had to lose their life in such circumstances.