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‘I feel the bullet go through my neck.’ Victim shares horror of road-rage incident

Five ways to potentially get yourself safely out of a road rage incident

Driving incidents can quickly escalate into potentially dangerous situations. Here are five tips that may prevent the situation from escalating if you find yourself the victim of someone else's bad behavior.
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Driving incidents can quickly escalate into potentially dangerous situations. Here are five tips that may prevent the situation from escalating if you find yourself the victim of someone else's bad behavior.

The shooting of a man and woman in downtown Modesto on Father’s Day was reported as a road-rage incident, Modesto police say. And the female victim, who is more than six months along in a pregnancy and had her 4-year-old daughter in her car at the time, recently posted a detailed account on social media.

The woman wrote the post in part to caution drivers against letting themselves get angry over someone else’s wrongdoing. “We want our story to get out so people can be safe and not make the same mistake we made,” she wrote. The Bee is not identifying her, and she declined an interview, worrying for her safety and that of her wounded boyfriend.

The shooting occurred about 4:10 p.m. June 16 at 10th and D streets. The woman wrote that she’d been driving west on Yosemite Boulevard where traffic merges before the D Street intersection. A car cut her off, nearly sideswiping her, she said. She honked and threw her hands up in an annoyed gesture, and her boyfriend yelled “What the heck?” at the driver.

“The car then goes into the next lane on my left side and I see the car full of guys in it,” the post says. “They look at us with blank faces then go into the lane I am in, cutting us off again. I then get into the other lane to get away.”

Both vehicles — police said the assailants were in a new, red, four-door sedan — turned southwest on D Street. At the red light at 10th Street, they were side by side when about five shots were fired, the woman said.

“I feel the bullet go through my neck and see my glass shattering all over us,” she posted. “I wait for one to hit my head and end my life completely. My 4-year-old daughter in the back seat, taking a nap, she wakes up confused.”

The other car drove off. The woman got out to check on her daughter, who was uninjured. Witnesses had stopped and called 911, she said, so she asked if her daughter could sit in their car. She was afraid the other car would return.

The woman’s boyfriend was out of the car at this point, holding his shoulder, where he was hit, she said. Police and ambulance crews arrived, and her boyfriend was on a sidewalk as EMS workers cut away his clothing to treat him before loading him into an ambulance.

The couple were taken to separate hospitals. The woman’s mother at some point took home the 4-year-old.

“The doctors say I (got) lucky with my bullet wound, that it barely missed my neck bone,” the victim posted. We check the baby’s heartbeat to make sure she’s okay, being that I’m 6 months pregnant.”

She was treated and able to leave the hospital, so went to see her boyfriend. The bullet hit his lung and spine, she said, putting him in intensive care. Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Sharon Bear said Monday that the man was in serious but stable condition. A gofundme page set up for him called his injuries severe and said he is facing “a long, hard recovery.”

The woman’s post said the men who shot her “have struck someone again.” Bear said Tuesday that detectives are looking into whether there are other related shootings, but nothing is confirmed at this point.

“If you have road rage or beep when someone cuts you off or even flip them off,” the woman wrote, “please avoid doing that.”

Anyone who witnessed the June 16 shooting or has information on the incident is urged to call the Police Department at 209-572-9500 or Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips also can be submitted at www.stancrimetips.org.

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Deke has been an editor and reporter with The Modesto Bee since 1995. He currently does breaking-news, education and human-interest reporting. A Beyer High grad, he studied geology and journalism at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento.

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