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Old February 14, 2011, 03:29 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Road rage shooting - both drivers claim self-defense

Source: http://www.reporternews.com/news/201...er=yahoo_feeds

Timeline: http://www.reporternews.com/news/201...artner=popular

The parties:

Driver A is the 40-something son of a prominent local family. Loves his pickup truck. No criminal record.

Driver B is the 21yr old son of a local reporter. Has two kids by his girlfriend, going to community college to pursue a criminal justice major. No criminal record. Driving a Mustang.

Facts reported by at least 2 eyewitnesses so far:

Driver A is following Driver B, who has his girlfriend as a passenger. Driver B taps on his brakes. As they come to a gas station Driver B stops for a car turning into the station. Driver A passes him and pulls in front of him at the intersection a short distance away. Both men get out of their cars. There is yelling between the two men and Driver B displays a pistol. Both men get back into their cars. Driver A reverses his pick up truck into Driver B's Mustang and floors it, pushing the Mustang up over a 4-5' wide grass median and into oncoming traffic. Driver A exits his truck and as Driver B exits his vehicle, Driver A shoots him in the head killing him.

I thought this incident was interesting because from a legal perspective (see Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code regarding self-defense, both men felt they were justified in claiming self-defense but neither one has a strong case for it. When Driver B first displays the pistol, there is no evidence of an imminent threat of death or serious injury. However, Driver B does not have to meet that standard since threatening use of deadly force is considered the same as using non-deadly force under Texas law.

Some eyewitness reports allege Driver A fired a shot after exiting the car a second time; but at this point, Driver B will have a difficult time arguing his actions in ramming the Mustang did not provoke/escalate the fight.

From a tactics standpoint, it seems to me that both men lose a lot of important legal protections the moment they step out of their vehicles. In Texas, Castle Doctrine extends to the vehicle. By stepping outside the vehicle, both drivers gain a little mobility (and separation from loved ones for Driver B) but they make it much harder to clearly identify the aggressor.

Would either Driver have been better off just staying in the vehicle in the first confrontation?

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; February 16, 2011 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Edited to correct mix up in Drivers A and B
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Old February 14, 2011, 04:12 AM   #2
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Me thinks you mixed up Driver A and Driver B. You might wanna give it a once over.
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Old February 14, 2011, 04:18 AM   #3
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After reading the article...

If the pick-up driver got back in his truck and backed into the Mustang why couldn't he have just put the truck in DRIVE and moved FORWARD instead? From reading the article it seems both drivers screwed up big time. The guy in the Mustang could have just driven around the truck or did a three point turn. I'm sure he had several options other than getting out of the car and showing off his gun.

One dead guy and one other guy that, in my opinion based off the information in the article, that should go to prison. Great.
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Old February 14, 2011, 04:30 AM   #4
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Went on Google Maps and pulled up the intersection in question. At least I'm pretty sure this is the intersection. Just go to Google Maps and search for "Sayles Boulevard and South 14th Street, abilene texas"

Anyway, looking at the images got me thinking. It's possible the guy in the Mustang had nowhere to go at the time and he did indeed feel threatened. I'm certain that there is fault with the driver of the pick-up truck though.
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Old February 14, 2011, 04:47 AM   #5
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Am I the only one who feels there is something we don't know? It just seems that something is amiss, some fact isn't being told. The story just doesn't fit together: Man aspiring to be a SWAT team member brandishes gun because he got cut off? Did he think because he was a Criminal Justice major he was a de facto cop? Did he have the movie SWAT playing continually on his big screen? Whatever the reasoning it wasn't a good idea. Not that it lets the other driver off the hook.
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Old February 14, 2011, 05:43 AM   #6
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Me thinks there is a lot to this story that we don't know.

The one thing I love is that a vehicle gives one the reasonable ability to flee a dangerous scene, barring traffic or road conditions that prohibit otherwise of course. I say this is one to let the courts figure out.

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Old February 14, 2011, 06:36 AM   #7
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morons, absolute morons...now a man is dead, and surly another will be in jail for a long time, and over what? A brake check? Some inconsiderate driving? Its stories like these that give the anti-gun crowd some legitimate fuel for their campaign...
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Old February 14, 2011, 08:54 AM   #8
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If all the reports are true, it is hard to find a good guy in this incident. The guy in the pickup truck, who backed his pickup into the Mustang and pushed it around, obviously had malicious intent when he did that, which makes his claim of self defense with the firearm quite dubious. But the younger guy in the Mustang certainly didn't help the situation if he brandished a firearm early in the incident, before any other overt threat was apparent, as reported by the witness. No winners here.
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Old February 14, 2011, 09:11 AM   #9
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A tale of two idiots.
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Old February 14, 2011, 09:14 AM   #10
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After reading though the accounts, it seems to me to be a pretty clean cut case of murder/manslaughter. Truck driver had the option of driving off, but instead ATTACKED the Mustang driver by ramming his vehicle INTO ONCOMING traffic. Mustang driver should not have pulled a gun to begin with, but I have a hard time believing he did it just for show, Mother of his children in the car and all.

Disclaimer:

I was not there, nor do my observations or opinions matter in the grand scheme of things. It was a terrible tragedy, and I hope justice is served appropriately.
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Old February 14, 2011, 09:25 AM   #11
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According to some of my 'customers' everything after the first dirty look is self defense.
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Old February 14, 2011, 09:41 AM   #12
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Sounds like a lot of your customers will end up in prison.
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Old February 14, 2011, 10:12 AM   #13
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A certain number of them do just that.
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I'm inclined to think if a man hasn't gotten his point across in 4912 attempts, 4913 probably isn't going to do it.
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Old February 14, 2011, 03:01 PM   #14
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I'm just glad neither of them had concealed carry permits. That would make it look even worse.
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Old February 14, 2011, 03:28 PM   #15
Jamie B
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Quote:
According to some of my 'customers' everything after the first dirty look is self defense.
Somehow that does not surprise me.

I would note, though, that talking tough and being tough are very different.
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Old February 14, 2011, 03:35 PM   #16
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There's likely quite a bit we don't know here, and that the facts aren't exactly all true. In the end, it doesn't matter. Two idiots with guns got mad and puffed their chests out. One pulled a trigger and the other one is dead. I have a 30-cent solution to the problem of what to do with Driver B.

Oh no, how silly of me. We have a much better solution, 20 years in the federal prison system on the taxpayer's dime, to be rehabilitated.

Goodbye criminal justice degree, goodbye career in law enforcement. Imagine if this wanna-be Commando actually became a cop or prison guard or some other LEO. Hopefully they'd catch him with a polygraph or biometric data test and weed him out.

Now his two kids get to grow up without their father, or knowing that their father is a murderer. Maybe they're better off he's not around. Same could be said for the girlfriend.

Indeed fools like this fuel the gun-control lobby's fire like nothing else. The thing is, it would have been the same if they didn't have guns, there was a road-rage inspired stabbing homicide in Maryland just a couple years ago, similar situation. Stupid people with no self-restraint will find a way to hurt/kill each other.

The difficult part is creating and enforcing gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of those people, and in the hands of responsible, sane, law-abiding citizens who wish to own them.

Talking tough never is
. -booker_t
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Old February 14, 2011, 04:48 PM   #17
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You got Driver A and B mixed up. 21 YO kid is dead.

This is the tale of an idiot, and a murderer.

Someone brandishes a gun at you during a road rage incident, then gets back in his car, so you get back into your truck. So now you know someone has a gun, and you have just escaped a nearly lethal incident, the threat has ended. But whats the next best move in a road rage incident when you know your aggressor has a gun? Don't let that little punk make you swallow humble pie, RAM HIM! Show him what a real mans vehicle can do against a little girl's sports car. Oh <shucks &darn> ! Now he really is gonna shoot you! Time to defend yourself!

This is all speculation, I know I don't have all the facts. But this is just about how it sounds to me, especially being that before I grew up a little, I was guilty of several road rage incidents.

Both parties were extremely stupid, but one party not only forced a vehicle into oncoming traffic (attempted murder of all occupants IMHO), but also pulled the trigger, and after a situation could have ended.

21 YO was the first real aggressor in brandishing the gun, and had 40 YO fired then, he would have had a strong case of self defense. But 40 YO became the aggressor when he refused to let the situation end when it should have, and used his vehicle as a deadly weapon.

Last edited by JohnKSa; February 17, 2011 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Helping the language filter...
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Old February 14, 2011, 05:17 PM   #18
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Stupid is as stupid does.

One stupid is dead, the other stupid will be in jail.

Don't be stupid, especially with a gun.
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Old February 14, 2011, 06:34 PM   #19
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I had a gang banger looking kid stand in the road forcing me to go around in my vehicle. It really ticked me off. The testicles of this guy and all. I slowly went around and we engaged in a serious stare. After I passed I looked in my rear view mirror and he had followed my vehicle with his body. He was facing the opposite direction and cammed his whole body around as if to taunt me. I stopped the vehicle (being young and stupid). As I looked him over through the rear view he lifted his shirt exposing a pistol in his waist. Thankfully my then infant son was there to save me from death or jail as I decided to drive off rather than engage in a gunfight with him in the vehicle.

So I can understand why people make these decisions. As wrong as they are I totally understand the impulse anger and/or embarrassment has on decision making. Sans my boy being in the car I would have either fought the kid or pulled my own firearm after he flashed his.

I called cops and simmered for awhile instead.
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Old February 14, 2011, 06:43 PM   #20
Bartholomew Roberts
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One issue is what do you do at the first confrontation? It seems that by staying in the car, you deescalate as well as create a clear line that if crossed, allows you to use deadly force. On the other hand, if Driver A is that upset (and the story doesn't make him seem calm) then you are immobile and trapped with an important loved one right next to you.

Any ideas on how to keep the advantage without getting all the disadvantage?
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Old February 14, 2011, 06:55 PM   #21
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts
Any ideas on how to keep the advantage without getting all the disadvantage?
Drive away.

Back off and get away from someone who "brake checks" you.

Don't brake check people.

Control your temper?

Don't carry a gun if you can't control your temper.

Take anger management training if you can't control your temper.

There is simply no excuse for "opting-in" to a violent confrontation. Violence is for when we can no longer opt-out.
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Old February 14, 2011, 07:14 PM   #22
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Ads w/o dis

I think the number thing I see is the vehicle of choice for 21 yo male, not that I think all should drive suburban's but having a vehicle with a real bumper capable of taking that hit would help. Second, always leave yourself an escape route, distance equals time. Third, treat your gun like a uchigatana, only remove it from it's scabbbard if you really mean to use it ie: willing to kill, it not for show or threatening.
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Old February 14, 2011, 07:22 PM   #23
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Quote:
Peetzakilla -

Drive away.

Back off and get away from someone who "brake checks" you.

Don't brake check people.

Control your temper?

Don't carry a gun if you can't control your temper.

Take anger management training if you can't control your temper.

There is simply no excuse for "opting-in" to a violent confrontation. Violence is for when we can no longer opt-out.

Bingo! Idiots with guns, it rarely ends well.
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Old February 14, 2011, 07:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
I thought this incident was interesting because from a legal perspective (see Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code regarding self-defense, both men felt they were justified in claiming self-defense but neither one has a strong case for it.
put it in bold and underlined it but that is a word for word quote from the first post in this thread. Am I missing something kn the meaning of what you wrote? Wasn't one of the men in the altercation killed? How is it that now you say he is claiming self defense, I mean you did say both men felt justified in claiming self defense. I just don't get it.

As for the shooting, it is, in all likelihood murder or at least man slaughter. The guy who was killed did have a gun out but apparently put it away and got back into his car. The incident was over except that the guy in the pick up then escalated it and attacked twice with deadly force, once with his vehicle and then again with his gun. Then again, if Mr. David still had his gun exposed when he got back in the car and was still pointing it at the driver of the PU truck, well that could make a lot of difference and it could be found to have been a justifiable homicide. My bet though is that the sympathy vote goes to the dead guy who was a wanna be SWAT member (then again that could sway a Grand Jury in favor of the other guy).

The dead guy's family may try to say he was acting in self defense against the guy in the pick up so that they can claim any insurance but the dead man himself - well he is not about to claim anything and you have no way of knowing what he would have claimed had he not been shot.

All the best,
GB
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Last edited by Glenn Bartley; February 14, 2011 at 07:29 PM.
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Old February 14, 2011, 08:42 PM   #25
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"Would either Driver have been better off just staying in the vehicle in the first confrontation?"

It seems like they both would have been better off just staying in bed that morning.


Clearly, the whole story isn't in writing yet. But it's obvious they both entered a stupid contest, and the guy in the truck won.

*EDIT*
Also, they both forfeited the right to claim self-defense when they got out of their cars to yell at each other. At that point, they both became aggressors.
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Last edited by Crazy88Fingers; February 14, 2011 at 08:48 PM.
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