Road Rage

I-4 driver injured in hail of gunfire

ORANGE COUNTY – While most people are accustomed to random daily minor road rage incidents, one recent event serves as a reminder that retaliation could end up in major violence.  On the afternoon of Sunday, July 1, a motorist travelling on I-4 experienced a hail of gunfire as a result of an altercation near the Lee Road exit. 

The driver, a 22-year old who remains nameless fearing for his life until the suspect is caught, was driving eastbound in his truck.  Followed by his mother and brother in a car about a mile back, he received a call from them warning of a speeding car coming up from behind.  According to reports, the car, a black Porsche Cayenne Turbo SUV, was driving excessively fast and scared the mother and son.

In retaliation, the driver of the truck saw the SUV approaching and cut in front of the Porsche.  That’s when a simple incident turned potentially deadly.

The driver of the Porsche opened fire on the 22-year old, with a reported 5 shots fired.  Feeling pain and pulling off to the side, the nameless driver discovered that he was hit twice by the shots.  The driver of the Porsche continued east and has yet to be found.

Orlando Tribune - Road Rage 2007 - Gavin P Smith

“Considering he was shot, he managed to pull the car over and receive assistance from his mother and brother that were following behind,” said Jim Solomons, Public Information Officer for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  “He only suffered minor injuries, and has already been released from the hospital.”

While this driver may have escaped mortal injury, are road rage incidents such as these common?  Not so, according to Solomons.

“To say we have road rage incidents every day, sure,” said Solomons.  “But to have incidents that involve response with shootings are very rare.  Clearly, this does not happen very often.”

In fact, only one other incident has happened over the past year in Central Florida, but the results were much more tragic.  After the Daytona 500 in February, a fan was shot to death when he challenged a motorist driving on the shoulder trying to bypass a traffic jam on I-4. 

As for the owner of the Porsche, an interesting turn of events may uncover the suspect.  At the time of this story, investigators are seeking to question a 31-year old man named Enrico Santona.  Santona is currently in custody without bond in an aggravated assault and domestic battery case due to an incident that occurred with his 28-year old girlfriend, Tatiana Callango, just before midnight on July 3rd. 

“We responded to a domestic violence call just before midnight where a boyfriend and girlfriend were involved in an intense physical altercation resulting in a stabbing of the male by the female,” said Solomons. 

What police found next could be a break in the I-4 shooting incident.

“As police arrived, it became apparent that a black Porsche Cayenne, fitting the description of the I-4 incident, was parked in the driveway,” said Solomons.  “While we do not stipulate that Santona is a suspect in the shooting at this time, the Porsche is a ‘vehicle of interest’ to investigators.”