PHOENIX (AP) — A man who was driving with his 4-year-old daughter and is accused of wounding another driver during a road-rage shooting in Arizona called 911 and stayed at the scene to await police, as did the victim, police said Thursday.
The victim in the shooting Wednesday evening suffered arm wounds that aren’t life-threatening, said Officer Brandon Sheffert, a spokesman for the Peoria Police Department.
The 45-year-old victim was shot as he and 27-year-old Ryan Paul Megofna of Surprise drove next to each other, Sheffert said. The name of the victim was not released.
There are discrepancies in what the two men said occurred before the shooting, but the incident apparently involved road rage, Sheffert said.
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A probable cause statement said the victim told police that he was shot after Megofna made an obscene gesture as they drove alongside each other.
Megofna told police the victim tailgated him and then appeared to make a “yelling gesture” toward him before swerving into Megofna’s lane. Megofna said he swerved away from the vehicle and feeling threatened pulled his .45-caliber pistol from his hip holster and fired one round into the other vehicle, the statement said.
The bullet went through the passenger door of the victim’s SUV, struck both his arms and exited through the driver’s door, police said.
Megofna had his daughter in a car seat in the back of his minivan and “admitted to shooting his gun to protect his daughter,” the statement said.
It also said Megofna recalled that he got out of his minivan and pointed his gun toward the victim’s parked car about 200 feet away before calling 911 and putting the weapon in the minivan’s cargo area.
Megofna was booked on suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He remained jailed on Thursday and he didn’t have an attorney when he made an initial court appearance.
Megofna’s daughter was unharmed and turned over to a family member.