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Man shoots out his own windshield during road rage incident

A Bluffton, S.C. man was arrested here on Memorial Day after an alleged road rage incident on I-75 during which he fired four shots from a .45 caliber handgun through his own windshield at another vehicle on I-75 South. The vehicle he fired at had twin 9-year-old girls inside. Dep. Cynthia Patten was dispatched to a traffic accident on I-75 southbound at 5 p.m. A caller reported shots had been fired from one of the cars involved in the crash. Upon arrival, Patten found a wrecked 2002 Honda Civic. The driver, Richard Charles Brown, 33, said a white SUV had cut him off in traffic and he had shined a flashlight at it. He claimed the flashlight and his elbow had gone through the windshield of the Honda but said he did not need medical attention. He admitted he had a gun but claimed it was in a book bag in the trunk of the Honda. Meanwhile, Dep. Blake Redding located the SUV and the driver, 33-year-old Jerrod Echols, admitted he accidentally cut off the Honda when he moved from the center lane to the left lane. He claimed Brown pulled up beside him and pointed a handgun at him so he rammed the Honda which went off the roadway. Echols twin daughters, Aniyah and Mariyah, were passengers in the SUV. Both vehicles were towed from the scene by Mitch’s. Investigator Chad Payne instructed Redding and Patten to arrest Brown and bring him in. Brown, who reported he was returning from a job interview at a Honda dealership in Roswell, initially stuck by his story. Payne inspected the Honda when it arrived at the impound lot at the jail and discovered four bullet holes in the windshield. Cpl. Sibley Norton located a spent .45 cartridge under the front seat. Payne located a shard from a spent .45 round on the dash. Confronted with this evidence, Brown admitted losing his temper and firing four shots through his windshield at the SUV. He claimed he was trying to shoot out the tires. Payne also interviewed Echols who said he was blocked in by traffic and had no choice but to ram the Honda. He heard a gunshot and waited until he was well away from the Honda to pull over. Brown was arrested on three counts of aggravated assault and one count of discharging a firearm on a public highway. He was subsequently released on bond. Echols and his twins were shaken but unhurt.

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