Shots fired during road rage incident

There's been another road-rage incident in Austin involving a weapon. This time, shots were fired. A witness we spoke with says someone could have easily been killed.

Pictures show Austin Police officers searching a vehicle and then making an arrest. This was after a road-rage incident on Friday got out of hand and shots were fired. It ended right in front of Disch-Falk Field where Texas was playing against Tulane.

"Everyone was leaving because of the rain delay. So if this had happened 20 minutes earlier, there might have been people walking on the streets and what not," says Mark Alexin, witness.

Mark Alexin was working the game. He and his co-workers stepped outside where they saw several cop cars.

"Next thing you know, this girl is out here getting handcuffed. I don't know, she was the happiest person I've ever seen being handcuffed. She was laughing," says Alexin.

The police report states that the victim was traveling southbound on Springdale when he was cut off by another vehicle. That vehicle was driven by 23-year-old Brittney Bailey and 22-year-old passenger Ulyses Avila.

The three reportedly got into a verbal altercation. Then officers say the victim threw a plastic bottle, striking Avila in the head. That's when we're told Avila took out a gun and fired one shot.

"We get traffic all the time. People are getting more and more angry when they drive. You never know if you cut a guy off, are they going to have a gun? Are they going to have a bat?" says Alexin.

The police report states that Avila was leaning out of the passenger window with the firearm. When the victim turned on Martin Luther King Blvd., two more shots were fired. One of bullets struck a parked vehicle with someone inside.

"The thing is, you know, we're an open-carry state. People are going to have their guns, not all the good guys are going to have them. People that are angry are going to have them and that's going to be their solution, to pull out the gun, which is never the solution," says Alexin.

This is not the first road-rage incident where a weapon was involved. Back in January, two men battled it out in the middle of South Austin traffic. One wielded a baseball bat, the other a wooden rod. Alex Thola says instead of fighting, we should be watching out for each other.

"Make sure you're out there being a good citizen. A huge part of that, is not escalating situations when they don't need to be escalated," says Alex Thola, Austinite.

Police arrested Bailey and Avila. Avila is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Inside Bailey's vehicle, police located two loaded semi-automatic handgun magazines, a handgun and two empty ammunition casings. 

According to TxDOT, there has been an increase in crashes involving road rage.

  • In 2012, it was a contributing factor in 960 statewide crashes.
  • In 2013, road rage was a factor in just over 1,000 crashes statewide. (1,072)
  • In 2014, that number grew to just over 1,100. (1,114)
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