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Newly uncovered dashcam footage from a Florida road rage incident shows a man firing a handgun multiple times, shattering his own side window and windshield as he drives. The driver, 30-year-old Eric Popper, is awaiting trial on two felony charges, including aggressive assault with a firearm. If convicted, it could result in a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
The incident took place on I-95 southbound in Miami back in June, but recently Popper’s own dashcam footage was obtained by sports radio host Andy Slater and released on January 28.
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
In it, Popper is shown casually singing along to music as he drives his Toyota Venza Hybrid. Something catches his attention in the left lane, prompting him to switch to his left lane where he allegedly cut off a dark-colored Camry. The Camry driver honks, to which Popper replies, “Oh, fuck off.” Popper also appears to brake-check the Camry while looking in his rear view mirror, bracing himself on the wheel as contents of his car slide forward.
He then watches in his mirror as, according to police reports, the Camry driver made gestures (we’re guessing they weren’t friendly “hello” hand waves) toward Popper. Seconds later, Popper opens the center console of his Venza, unlocks his firearm’s lock box, and pulls out a small handgun.
As the Camry passes, Popper raises his weapon and lives up to his surname, firing 11 times through his own passenger side window and windscreen. He even seems to surprise himself, shrinking into his seat as he shoots. Or, perhaps, he was spooked by glass breaking along with the (extremely loud) sound of gunfire in a confined space.
Popper claims that the Camry driver had a weapon and fired at him first. In the video, you can hear a bang against his Venza as the Camry passes. In interviews with Miami’s NBC6 and Los Angeles’ ABC7, Popper’s attorney believes that the sounds proves Popper was shot at first, and that the video proves his client was acting in self-defense.
Both drivers pulled over after the incident and called 911 to report the Toyota-on-Toyota altercation. Another clip of the dashcam video shows Popper calling 911 from his stopped car saying that he was shot at and returned fire. The Camry driver told police that he had merely thrown a water bottle at Popper’s car and that he did not have a firearm with him. Luckily, both drivers, along with everyone else sharing the road that day, escaped unharmed.
Popper, an inspector with the Miami Beach Fire Department, resigned his job on July 21 and turned himself in to the authorities. He was released on bond and has a hearing set for April.
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