Editor’s note: This article was originally published on January 29, 2022, when video of the incident was first made public. Today, charges were dropped against the driver, Eric Popper, whose lawyer successfully cited Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in getting the case dismissed. You can read our coverage of today’s developments here. Below is our original article from 2022.
Getting frustrated while driving in traffic is understandable. Though everyone reacts differently to irritating situations, some reactions are just lethally reckless and unforgivable. A driver in Miami decided it was appropriate to fire rounds out onto an interstate at another driver. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never gotten angry enough to pull out a handgun and open fire on a highway.
Yesterday, new dashcam footage came to light from a road-rage incident on I-95 in Miami-Dade County last June. The footage completely contradicts the initial report from the Florida Highway Patrol. In the video, 30-year-old Eric Popper pulls a handgun from his center console and opens fire through his own car at another vehicle as it passes him. Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident. The footage was obtained by local talk show host Andy Slater and confirmed to be authentic by Robert Gershman, Popper’s lawyer.
Gershman claims that Popper was defending himself and that the driver in the other vehicle fired first. He told NBC 6 South Florida, “You hear a bang on Mr. Popper’s car, akin to a gunshot, which precipitated the whole incident, so in this matter, the audio and video evidence we believe exonerates him.”
The FHP also initially stated an exchange of gunfire took place, probably due to the bullet holes in both cars, but the dashcam footage shows that damage to Popper’s vehicle was self-inflicted. The other driver claimed that he wasn’t armed and hurled a water bottle at Popper, which Florida Highway Support now supports.
Popper is facing charges including aggravated assault with a firearm. This piece of evidence appears to be damning for the accused. It will be incredibly difficult to defend shooting at an unarmed person on a public roadway. If Eric Popper is found guilty, it will be more than just.