WINTER HAVEN, FLORIDA — Everyone has experienced road rage at some point in their life. Most of us, however, stay in the car. We try to avoid getting out of the car and physically confronting another driver. Unfortunately, this Florida man decided to get out of the car. It was the last decision he will ever make.
The Orlando Sentinel reported the man was driving a pick-up truck in front of an SUV Saturday in Winter Haven, Florida.Via SR Press Gazette
Brian Bruchey, the Polk County Sheriff’s spokesman, said the SUV driver told detectives that the truck driver in front of him came to a sudden stop, making him quickly hit the brakes. The truck driver then got out of the truck and cursed him for following too closely.
The SUV driver told officials the truck driver threatened to kill him and the passenger, making him fear for his life, so he grabbed a gun from his glove compartment, pointed it at the man and fired it.
The truck driver was taken with a gunshot wound to a hospital, where he later died. No arrests have been made, and neither of the men’s names have been made public.
We’ll never hear the side of the story from the pickup truck driver, so we have to go on what the SUV driver has told us. As he drove behind the pickup truck, the driver of the truck suddenly decided to stop in the middle of the road. This caused the SUV driver to slam on his breaks.
The truck driver got out of the truck and approached the SUV. At this point the truck driver’s road rage begins to show as he curses at the SUV driver and his passenger. Apparently the complaint was that the SUV driver was tailgating him and driving too close.
The SUV driver did not engage the truck driver, and remained in the vehicle. Despite not engaging, the truck driver escalated the situation by verbally threatening to kill all those inside the SUV. This is when the SUV driver retrieved his firearm and shot the truck driver.
There really isn’t anything the SUV driver did wrong in this scenario, other than potentially tailgating the truck. That being said, as far as the actual confrontation, he seems to have done everything as he should
The worse thing would have been if he got out of the SUV and physically confronted the truck driver. If he did that, it would be a harder case to make that he felt his life was in danger. How would police know he wasn’t the aggressor at that point?
The best thing the SUV driver could have done, was stay in the car; and he did that. This immediately put him in a defensive position, and his case to discharge his firearm is stronger.
Also, he didn’t use the gun as a prop to scare the truck driver away. Sometimes people think brandishing a gun is a good idea to scare people away. Not only is brandishing a weapon often illegal in most places, it opens up the conflict to all sorts of new possibilities.
Finally, when he had felt his life was actually in danger, he drew the firearm and fired. He was protecting himself and his passenger from someone who had just threatened to kill them.
The police are not pressing charges, and this looks like a clear case of self defense shooting. Good for the SUV driver for standing his ground and defending the life of himself and his passenger.