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Police investigate two Valley road rage incidents involving guns

"I was looking down the barrel of a gun"
Posted at 4:48 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 23:00:17-04

Police are investigating two weekend road rage incidents that both happened in the West Valley, involving guns.

One on the Loop 101 injured a toddler, the other near Avondale Boulevard and McDowell Road was caught on dash cam by 26-year-old Fransisco Garcia.

"It was very heavy traffic, the freeway was closed at that time," said Garcia.

After just losing his car for months following a crash, Garcia was nervous when he saw what looked like a newer model Dodge Durango swerving into his lane.

"So I cut him off and got in front of him, so I don’t have to get hit," said Garcia.

He drove a few blocks thinking everything was fine, and then he heard honking and recognized the car behind him.

"He came to the window, pointing his gun to my face," said Garcia. "I was looking down the barrel of a gun.”

Garcia said when the driver walked away, while on the line with a 911 operator, he ended up getting out of the car trying to get the other driver's plate number.

That's when Garcia said he was assaulted.

"He was wrestling me and grabbing me, trying to make sure I didn’t get the plates," said Garcia.

From his video, it appears someone else from the Durango was recording the whole thing.

Garcia is now thankful for his dash camera, but also that he’s even alive.

"I shouldn’t be here right now," said Garcia. "His finger was on the trigger."

That incident is just one of the road rage incidents that happened Saturday.

Glendale police said a woman was on the Loop 101 near Northern Avenue when she tried to pass a car that cut her off.

She told police she heard three gun shots. One of those rounds did injure her two-year-old, who was also in the car.

Now officers are looking for a suspect they describe as a "dark complected male between the ages of 30 to 40 years old with a mustache."

Officers said he was last seen driving a white four door sedan.

"I see it as trend and that trend is dangerous," said the director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Alberto Gutier.

He told ABC15 crashes involving possible road rage situations have jumped in recent years.

2018- 267
2019- 520
2020- 503
2021- 624
2022- 253

Arizona is on track to have even more of these situations than last year.

"We hope we don’t, but the numbers are looking that direction," said Gutier.

He doesn't know for sure, but blames the jump on pandemic issues and anger.

Fransisco said he knows he shouldn’t have cut off the other driver, but now he’s hoping anyone with video or information can help get this man off the street.

"If he’s able to do it in broad daylight in front of everybody, in heavy traffic, he will do it again," said Garcia.