COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Gunshots fired in what was believed to be a road rage incident, and the victim caught the incident on video.
Columbus police are investigating the June 28 incident which happened along Stelzer Road and Sunbury Road near Easton.
“To relive that over and over, every time I go somewhere, I really have to cut my driving to a bare minimum,” said the man who managed to catch the shooting on video. NBC4 is not identifying the man.
The man said he was driving home from Walmart on Stelzer Road and noticed he was being followed. The driver of the car behind him was aggressive: swerving, veering off the road, and tailgating, according to the man. The video shows the driver pulling a gun and firing.
“I really don’t go anywhere anymore because that frightens me so much that I’m always thinking, ‘If I stop at this light, is someone going to shoot just because they’re having a bad day?’” the man said.
The incident was caught on a dashboard camera. The victim is urging the community to keep an eye out for the vehicle and to call the police.
“Someone in the car does the right thing or someone who recognizes the car or does the right thing,” he said.
Sgt. Joe Albert with the Columbus Division of Police said actions like this impact public safety — for the drivers but also for people living in the neighborhood.
“Scary, it’s scary that in the middle of broad daylight that we have somebody that’s driving down the road aggressively and then stick a firearm out the window,” he said.
Albert said with Ohio’s permitless carry law, people should now assume that someone could have a firearm in their vehicles.
Albert said if you’re ever facing an erratic driver, try to turn onto another road and do not engage with the other driver. If you continue to be followed, drive to the closest police station.
“More firearms are readily available, so we’re seeing a lot more of the individuals who are involved in road rage that are discharging firearms at people that they’re in road rage with,” Albert said.
He urges drivers, if they can, to take note of what type of make and model the car is, what the person looks like, and a license plate if you can.
The victim said he of his three children and their safety, thankful he wasn’t hurt but worried about what could have happened to him or an innocent bystander.
“Nothing in this life is worth aiming a gun at someone, for absolutely no reason,” he said. “Once that trigger is pulled, lives change whether they hit or they miss. Lives change.”
Albert said road rage incidents involving a gun are felonious assault cases. So far this year, there have been 676 felonious assault incidents in the city, but that isn’t just road rage. Felonious assault investigations involve shootings, stabbings, all different types of physical altercations.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Columbus police at 614-645-4545.