Over three days in Southwest Florida, two road rage incidents resulted in shootouts.
No one was hurt in either case, but no one has been arrested either.
The first incident occurred Sunday night in Fort Myers near Colonial Blvd and I-75. The second was two days later in Punta Gorda at the intersection of Burnt Store Rd and Doredo Drive.
Law enforcement officials involved in both cases say the issue is a lack of witnesses.
“We don’t have any independent witnesses. Who did what first? Who did what second? What happened?” said Sgt. Terry Cochran, of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit.
Cochran said deputies searched the Punta Gorda area for someone who might have seen what happened, but came up empty. Both men involved called 911 to report the incident, but their statements conflict.
“When it’s just he said/she said it’s very hard to determine without any other evidence who did what,” he said.
FGCU criminal justice professor Pamella Seay says it’s doubtful law enforcement will ever get all the answers.
“Probably you’re not going to find that out,” she said.
Seay, who also practices law in Southwest Florida, says the sheriff’s office is likely trying to put together an airtight case.
“My guess is the sheriff’s office is looking at that very clearly and making sure that they have all their ducks in a row so that when they do arrest them they’re not going anywhere else,” she said.
Cochran says his office needs probable cause to arrest someone. In this case, he says there’s no doubt one person was trying to inflict harm on another but how it all happened is another story.
“It is harmful, but you have to remember in the state of Florida we have a right to protect ourselves,” he said.
The Fort Myers Police Department, in a statement, said, “Victims and witnesses are not cooperating and have signed complaint withdrawals. Because of that there is no viable suspect information. Furthermore, we did not witness the offense. Had we it would be totally different situation.”
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office insisted the the shootout is still under investigation and arrests are possible.