Road rage victim speaks only to ABC13: 'Any situation can be handled verbally instead of violence'

Brooke Taylor Image
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
'The dude shot me': Road rage victim speaks only to 13 from hospital
EMBED <>More Videos

A road rage shooting victim speaks only to Eyewitness News from his hospital bed, retelling the moment someone who sideswiped his SUV also opened fire at him.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The victim shot in what police call a road rage shooting spoke to ABC13 from the hospital bed where he is recovering after a bullet hit his hip bone. According to Houston police, the suspect fired six or seven times on a busy road in the city's Third Ward.

The victim, Jermaine McDonald, said he had just left his mother's home and was driving on McGowen Street near Hutchins Street on Sunday at about 6:30 p.m.

ABC13 obtained surveillance footage that captured the moments before the shooting. The suspect is in a red pickup truck without a flatbed and is seen driving close to McDonald's black SUV.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Man shot during road rage incident in Third Ward after heated exchange, HPD says

According to McDonald, there was a motorcycle stopped in front of him, which he believed was having problems, so he allowed the cars behind him to pass him by.

He said the red pickup truck was the last to pass him. McDonald said he then tried to pass the pickup truck, but the driver, he said, didn't seem happy about that and side-swiped him and cut him off.

"I saw him in the passenger-side mirror speeding up aggressively, and I thought that he was just going to pass by," McDonald said. "In passing, he tried to cut me back off and hit my truck, and I stopped to observe the damages."

McDonald said both he and the other driver got out of their vehicles, and McDonald began to take pictures of the suspect's license plate when he fired his gun and shot him.

SEE ALSO: Only on 13: Shooter at large after innocent woman caught in crossfire driving home from work

"Right as I was going through my phone to get the camera, the dude shot me," McDonald said. "I didn't notice he had a gun until after I got shot. Once I fell to the ground, we kind of stared at each other, and he fired several more rounds and got back in the truck and drove off."

One of the bullets hit a home nearby and shattered the window. The homeowner, who happens to be ABC13 News Director Keaton Fox, was home at the time.

"As soon as I saw where that hole came through the window, that had I been on the couch, it certainly would have been on the level," Fox said. "I would have been there. My dog would have been there. It was one of those days you count your blessings because what could have been didn't happen."

According to our ABC13 Neighborhood Safety Tracker, the area around the University of Houston is among the neighborhoods with the highest murder and assault rates in our city.

In 2022, there were 10 homicides, which is double the number of murders in 2019. The homicide rate per 100,000 residents is more than four times the rate of the entire city of Houston, according to our ABC13 data team. There have also been 682 assaults in the last 12 months.

In January 2022, ABC13 reported on a shooting near the same intersection, involving a suspect who led police on a chase and then opened fire on three officers.

"It's terrifying to think in the middle of a Sunday afternoon something like that could happen in your neighborhood," Fox said. "I wasn't being targeted. Someone was just shooting indiscriminately."

Houston police are now searching for the shooter in the red pickup truck, whom McDonald says put him and the entire neighborhood in danger.

"I feel like any situation can be handled verbally instead of violence," McDonald said.

For updates on this story, follow Brooke Taylor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.