TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A violent road-rage incident involving an ex-Zephyrhills police officer, a known gang member, and another driver, ended with punches thrown and a shot being fired, according to the Pasco Country sheriff's deputy who witnessed the incident.
The deputy's body camera video shows what happened after a confrontation between the driver of a Honda Civic and two motorcyclists. Investigators say the three apparently exchanged words before speeding down Court Street in Tampa, Florida on Monday evening.
The deputy spotted the speeding trio just before the Civic slowed to turn onto C Avenue and one of the motorcyclists crashed into the back of the car, ejecting its rider, Cory Alan Kitzler -- a known gang member, the sheriff's office said.
Deputies say the other rider, Christopher Shawn Fern, an ex-Zephyrhills police officer, stopped his motorcycle, walked to the Honda Civic and started punching the driver. Fern then allegedly took out his 9mm handgun and fired a round into the car, but missed the driver.
That's when the deputy gets out of his vehicle and confronts the three drivers.
He calls on his radio "shots fired," and then gets out of his cruiser with his weapon drawn.
In front of him are the two motorcyclists. The deputy yells for both to get on the ground and they follow orders.
The deputy approaches one man, presumably Fern, who says he has a gun. The deputy takes the gun and handcuffs the man. He then handcuffs the other motorcyclist before running to the driver of the Honda to check his wounds.
The deputy calls over his radio that he believes the victim was shot in the face, but after inspecting the man's injuries, he determined the man was punched.
The man asks the deputy, "what happened?" before explaining the motorcyclists "came at me from all the way over there," pointing into the distance. The deputy tells the man to sit on the hood of his car and wait for emergency crews to arrive.
Meanwhile, several more deputies and fire rescue crews came to the scene to assist.
Both motorcyclists were arrested. Fern was charged with attempted homicide. Deputies say he was a Zephyrhills police officer for seven months in 2005-2006. He was terminated by the Zephyrhills Police Department for conduct unbecoming of a police officer.
Deputies say Kitzler was arrested for violation of probation, driving with an expired license, not having a motorcycle endorsement, and reckless driving.
The driver of the Honda had minor injuries. The investigation is still ongoing.