Truck driver fatally shot in apparent road rage incident on Palmetto Expressway

WEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (AP/WSVN) — A truck driver was fatally shot during an apparent road rage incident, authorities said, as rush hour was winding down on the Palmetto Expressway, in West Miami-Dade.

According to investigators, the shooting took place on a southbound exit ramp in the area of Northwest 25th Street, near Miami International Airport, Friday, at around 9:30 a.m.

“This was a road rage incident that led to a shooting,” said Miami-Dade Police Officer Alvaro Zabaleta.

7Skyforce HD hovered above the scene as the victim’s body lay beneath a yellow tarp.

Trooper Joe Sanchez told news outlets there was an altercation between the man who was driving an 18-wheeler and a man driving a black Nissan Altima.

“One produced a knife. That’s when the other one produced a firearm. Shots were fired,” said Zabaleta.

The burst of gunfire took place in the middle of traffic, prompting drivers to contact police. “I said, ‘Oh, my God. Let me call 911. What happened here?'” said Liliana Napolitano.

Napolitano said she only witnessed the aftermath to the shooting. “One of the police [officers] started to do chest compressions, and nothing, nothing. He did not react,” she said.

The 31-year-old truck driver died at the scene.

Police said the shooter, also in his 30s, stayed until police arrived. They took him in for questioning.

The driver of the Altima later returned to the scene with officers to search for the gun used in the fatal shooting, but they never found the weapon on the scene.

The incident further snarled traffic in a normally busy area for hours. The exit ramp was reopened to traffic at around 3:15 p.m.

Sanchez said this case proves how quickly road rage incidents can spiral into violence. “There’s no need for confrontations,” he said.

Officials advised motorists how to prevent interactions on busy South Florida roadways from escalating. “Just avoid the confrontation, continue on your way home,” said Sanchez. “Believe me, it will save us a lot of work, and lives will be saved.”

“There’s a family that’s not going to have a loved one during the holidays, during Christmastime — a dad, an uncle, a brother, a co-worker,” said Zabaleta. “This is the impact of road rage accidents.”

Miami-Dade and Doral Police departments assisted in the crash investigation.

Police have not announced any charges in this case.

Miami-Dade Police have since taken over the investigation.

Investigators are still looking for the gun used in the incident. They said it could have flown into the air during the struggle, and it may have even landed in the back of someone’s pickup truck. They urged anyone who comes into contact with the firearm to call police immediately.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.