FORT WRIGHT, Kentucky — Prosecutors say they will not charge a man who shot and killed a driver who pointed a rifle at him during a road rage incident last week just south of Cincinnati.
John Abell, 41, of Cincinnati, died in the shooting Friday on Interstate 75, Fox 19 reports. Kentucky County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said Monday the man who shot Abell was acting in self-defense, WCPO Channel 9 reports.
Authorities say the incident occurred at about 1:30 p.m. Friday in Fort Wright, WLWT Channel 5 reports. The vehicles driven by the two men collided on Interstate 75. Abell’s car spun out and stopped in a grassy area, police say. The man in the other vehicle pulled over and called 911, telling the dispatcher it was a possible road rage incident, Fox 19 reports.
“A guy road raged me, ran over into my lane, flipping me off and ran me off the road,” the driver told the dispatcher in the 911 call, according to Fox 19. “He may be in some medical emergency, I don’t know. He skidded off the road pretty hard. I got a bunch of witnesses over here.”
Reports say Abell then approached the man’s vehicle while carrying a rifle, threatening other people while walking toward the car. Police say Abell stuck the rifle through the passenger side window of the man’s car and began threatening him.
The driver of the car also was armed, reports say.
“Sir, sir please. Sir, sir please,” the man can be heard telling Abell during the 911 call. “Shots fired. Sir, I just fired shots at him.”
“He’s shot bad,” the man tells the 911 dispatcher, WLWT reports. “He’s shot in the neck. He needs help.”
The man gave Abell first aid while still talking to the dispatcher, reports say. Abell was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died of his wounds.
Authorities say Abell’s rifle was not loaded and had a trigger lock. However, they say it was not possible for the gunman to know if the rifle was loaded or to see the trigger lock.
“Under those circumstances, staring down the barrel of a rifle, he had justifiable and reasonable belief that he was about to be injured or killed and that, under Kentucky law, makes his use of his own firearm legal,” Sanders said, according to WLWT.
More crime-related content on cleveland.com:
Cleveland man suffers fatal gunshot in vacant lot on city’s West Side, police say