What would you do if you’re driving down the interstate and someone takes a shot at you? Shoot back? Follow the car and try to take down the license plate and other identifying information? Call 911 and hope that police could intercept the car on a busy highway?
For one Tennessee man, the answer was “follow the car and then hold the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived”; not necessarily the safest course of action but one that had a happy ending for everyone involved… well, everyone except the road rage suspect.
Deputies say suspect Depizio Seay was driving on I-24 when he fired at least two rounds out of his passenger window and hit the victim’s truck. No one was injured.
The victim then chased Seay and held him at gunpoint while calling 911.
Sheriff’s Office deputies, Smyrna and La Vergne Police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol all responded to the call.
The victim and suspect were found at a restaurant on Sam Ridley Parkway in Smyrna. The victim is a 40-year-old man from White Bluff.
Authorities in Rutherford County, Tennessee haven’t said how long the road rage victim chased the offender, but thankfully he wasn’t injured in the shooting on I-24, though at least one round reportedly struck his vehicle. And unlike the defendant here, the armed citizen never discharged his firearm. Instead, simply having it in his possession was apparently enough to convince Seay to stay where he was and wait for police to arrive.
When officers responded, not only did they take Seay into custody on charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and possession of marijuana, but they discovered that he was also a fugitive wanted in the state of Illinois. The armed citizen’s actions led directly to a dangerous individual being taken off the streets, though how long he remains behind bars is anyone’s guess.
Based on the news accounts of this incident it appears the armed victim isn’t facing any charges of his own, which is good. As I said, I don’t know that following Seay and holding him at gunpoint was the safest response to being shot at, but we don’t have a lot of information to go on that would help shed some light on his decision to pursue Seay rather than letting him drive away. It could be that the armed citizen simply didn’t want Seay to pose a threat to any other motorist on the road, but whatever his rationale I’m glad he was able to hold him at bay until police arrived to take him into custody.
Of course, if this armed citizen lived in New Jersey or Maryland, he could be facing charges simply for having his gun at the ready in his vehicle. Anti-gunners have been trying to make it impossible for lawful gun owners to carry in their cars, requiring them instead to lock up their self-defense weapon unloaded and inaccessible to them when they’re behind the wheel.
Those laws aren’t going to have an impact on violent assailants. If anything, it will embolden criminal actors who believe the risk of running into a legally-armed citizen is low. Thankfully Tennessee hasn’t adopted that anti-gun mentality, and the armed citizen was able to make it home safely that night, while Seay got himself a taxpayer-funded extended stay at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.