Angry driver shoots at passing SUV, not realizing it's a deputy, Florida cops say

  • In US
  • 2022-12-08 15:05:52Z
  • By Miami Herald

A fit of road rage took an unexpected turn in Florida after the angry driver realized that he fired his gun at a passing sheriff's deputy, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The marked SUV was struck, but the deputy escaped injury, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

It happened around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in Riverview, as the deputy drove behind the suspect's car, officials said. Riverview is just southeast of Tampa.

"Deputy Daniel Henry was ... driving northbound on Balm Riverview Road when he encountered a dark green 2007 Saturn sedan. The Saturn was driving slow on the dark, two-lane road, and began 'brake checking' the deputy aggressively," the sheriff's office said.

"The deputy, in an attempt to not engage with the driver, legally began to pass up the vehicle once he could do so safely in a passing lane. The driver of the Saturn then pulled a firearm out his window and shot at the deputy's vehicle, striking it once between the back passenger door and the wheel."

Henry pulled to the side of the road and relayed a description of the driver and vehicle to dispatchers.

The Saturn was found by another deputy "a short time later" and followed to a home on McMullen Road in Riverview, officials said.

"Inside the vehicle, deputies found the driver ... along with his wife," officials said. "After interviews ... (the driver) confessed to shooting at the deputy in a fit of road rage, but denies knowing that the vehicle was a marked Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office SUV."

The 49-year-old driver was arrested and charged with "aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and shooting into an occupied vehicle, both felonies," the sheriff's office said. His wife is not facing charges.

"Deputies are placed in harm's way every day, and to be shot at while driving is simply inexplicable," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in the release.

"I am thankful our deputy, nor any other motorists, were injured. I commend the quick work of our deputies and aviation pilots, who worked diligently to apprehend this shooter, and did so without further incident."

Deputy Henry has been with sheriff's office since 2016, officials said. The shooting incident took place after he had participated in a day of training at the sheriff's office firing range, officials said.

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