MIAMI - Dashcam footage from a June 2021 road rage incident in South Florida shows the moments when a driver fired multiple shots, striking another vehicle several times. But his lawyer is calling the shooting a "justified" response.
WSVN reports that Eric Popper, who was a civilian fire inspector with Miami Beach Fire Rescue at the time, was driving southbound on Interstate 95 in Miami-Dade County around 7 a.m. on June 21, 2021.
Investigators said he changed lanes, cutting off another driver. Popper's dashcam video shows the driver behind honking, which caused Popper to curse before slamming on his brakes.
Authorities said the other driver then tailgated Popper’s SUV before pulling up next to Popper, who could be seen removing a handgun from his center console and motioning it toward the right-side passenger window.
He opened fire on the other car, firing off a total of 11 shots. Popper said he was fired at first, and used his weapon in self-defense.
In the 911 call Popper makes at the end of the footage, he tells the operator, "I was just shot at, my car was just hit, I returned fire back at the individual."
However, according to the Florida Highway Patrol’s arrest report, the other driver said he threw a water bottle at Popper’s car and said he did not have a firearm.
Popper faces felony charges including aggravated assault with a firearm.
Popper later turned himself in to authorities and resigned from his position at Miami Beach Fire Rescue.
Popper’s attorney, Robert Gershman, told Storyful in an email that his client was not guilty and was justified in his actions. According to Gershman, the sound of the water bottle hitting the car caused Popper to act in self-defense.
Storyful contributed to this report.