Man pulls shotgun in road rage incident, police say

Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 6:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 6:25 p.m.

Joshua Williams was across the street from Gainesville High School on Tuesday when he pumped his shotgun and walked toward the motorist who had just made an obscene gesture. They exchanged words.

“It’s a crazy world,” Williams told the man, according to a Gainesville police report. “You can’t just go around flipping people off.”

It was shortly before noon, and a passing driver saw the interaction and called the police. They responded and notified school officials, who immediately locked down the high school.

“It caused some serious fear in the witness,” GPD spokesman Officer Ben Tobias said. “GPD patrol officers and detectives responded, and they found the man near his black BMW.”

Tobias said the school was locked down for about five minutes while police sorted it out.

“(Williams) was cooperative,” he said, “and told police exactly where the firearm was — in the trunk.”

Williams, 19, of 7721 SW 49th Place in Gainesville, was arrested on a charge of improper display of a firearm near a school, a third-degree felony.

The report said Williams changed his story a few times — he initially said he was selling the firearm — before he admitted he pulled the gun after a road rage incident.

After his arrest, Williams told police he was turning into a business driveway when a motorist behind him honked and made the obscene gesture. The motorist pulled over and walked toward Williams, the report said, and the two “had words.” Then, Williams went back to his car and grabbed his shotgun, pumped it and spoke to the motorist again.

The situation soon calmed, however, and the two shook hands before the motorist left. The shotgun had no shells in it, the report said, and police found no ammunition in Williams’ car.

Williams was in the Alachua County jail on Tuesday afternoon. Because the offense is a felony, he’ll have to see a judge on Wednesday morning for his first appearance to be eligible for bond.

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