A Florida man is facing up to 15 years in prison due to his involvement in a dramatic case of road rage in June last year.
The incident in question occurred on June 21, 2021, and was captured in its entirety on the dashcam of 30-year-old Eric Popper. It is this footage that could see him locked up for a very long time.
During the clip, since shared online by Andy Slater, Popper can be seen driving his Toyota Venza Hybrid on the I-95 southbound in Miami. A few seconds in, Popper notices something in his mirror and turns into the left-lane, apparently cutting off a Toyota Camry in the process. The driver of the Camry then beeps at the 30-year-old, to which he replies “Oh, f**k off.”
SLATER SCOOP: Exclusive video of road-rage shooting in Miami from in-car camera.
The shooter seen here was arrested and is awaiting trial. He told cops the other driver fired first.
(Warning: Language and gunfire) pic.twitter.com/10vDVEwBbw
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) January 28, 2022
Things then escalate as Popper suddenly brake checks the driver of the Camry. For the following few seconds, Popper can be seen glancing in his rear-view mirror as the driver of the Toyota allegedly made some unwelcome hand gestures.
As this is happening, Popper opens up his center console and then opens a firearm lockbox, retrieving a handgun. The Camry then pulls out from behind Popper and begins to overtake him. It’s at this time that Popper fired his gun multiple times at the Camry, shattering the side window and windshield of his Venza Hybrid.
Speaking with authorities, Popper claimed that he thought he was being shot at and his lawyer says he was acting in self-defense. However, the driver hadn’t fired at Popper, they had simply thrown a water bottle at his car. Popper pulled over after the incident and called 9/11, claiming that he had been shot at and had returned fire, ABC7NY reports.
Popper was an inspector with the Miami Beach Fire Department at the time of the incident but resigned shortly after. He is awaiting trial on two felony charges, including aggressive assault with a firearm.