Motorist hospitalised, minibus driver in custody after road rage shooting
MANDEVILLE, Manchester – A road rage clash between two licensed firearm-holding motorists led to one being shot and seriously injured and the other being taken into custody by the police Tuesday.
The incident occurred shortly after 10:30 am in the presence of several onlookers at Gutters on the Manchester/ St Elizabeth border. Police said late yesterday that the injured man was in serious but stable condition in hospital.
Reports pieced together from the police and people claiming to be eye witnesses said a Toyota Rav4 driven by a Santa Cruz resident pulled up beside a Toyota Hiace passenger minibus driven by another Santa Cruz resident. The bus had reportedly stopped at Gutters to pick up a passenger.
Both vehicles were said to have been coming down Spur Tree Hill travelling from the direction of Mandeville towards Santa Cruz.
The Rav4 driver is reported to have accused the minibus driver of dangerous driving before a physical confrontation developed between them.
“The Rav4 man pull up beside the minibus man, ‘im say di mini-bus man bad drive ‘im, im have im gun inna im hand, im pull the minibus driver out of the van and box im cross im face wid di gun, im kick kick up di minibus man, im all kick im inna im bottom in front of im passengers,” a young man told the Observer, while others nodded in assent.
The eye witnesses say that as passengers from the minivan and others onlookers screamed in shock, the Rav4 driver returned to his vehicle and got behind the wheel. However, he was followed by the minibus man, who by now also had a gun in hand.
Another physical confrontation ensured and in the process the Rav4 driver was shot in the upper right hand side of his chest.
In a bizarre twist, it was the driver of the minibus who now got behind the wheel of the Rav4 and attempted to take the injured man with “blood pumping from his chest” to hospital.
“The man who get shot hug up di minibus man and sey ‘help mi man, help mi … carry mi go hospital”, one woman told the Observer. In summing up the incident, she insisted that the minibus driver had acted in “self defence”.
At that point eye witnesses said, the minibus driver got behind the wheel of the blood-stained Rav4 leaving his minibus behind and headed up Spur Tree with the injured man - the intention being to take him to the Mandeville Hospital.
But in another weird twist the vehicle developed mechanical problems at the top of Spur Tree and stalled. The injured man had to be taken to hospital in another vehicle.
The driver of the minibus was subsequently taken into custody.
In an ugly aside, at least one person on the scene of the shooting smashed the windscreen of the minibus, eyewitnesses said.