NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – (Disclaimer: Some may find the video posted in this story to be graphic in nature. Viewer discretion advised.)
Nearly a dozen shots were fired by one driver in an apparent road rage dispute in North Miami, as was first reported by WPLG Local 10 News. The shooter told the Florida Highway Patrol that he shot because he thought the other driver had a gun.
Local 10 reported the story in late June when two cars were on the side of the road, one riddled with bullets on the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near 135th Street.
Investigators said the driver who fired the shots is 30-year-old Eric Popper, of Deerfield Beach, and the dash camera that caught everything was in his vehicle.
The chilling dash camera video was provided to Local 10 by talk show host Andy Slater. It shows the moments leading up to incident and the shooting itself where Popper shoots bullet holes through his own car to get to the other driver.
(Dashcam video posted below.)
Investigators said that Popper was driving a black Toyota Venza around 6:53 a.m. on June 21, 2021, when he changed lanes in front of another car and abruptly cut off the driver. When the other driver honked his horn, Popper can be heard on the dashcam shouting, “Oh, f--- off” and then can be seen slamming on his brakes.
The driver tailgated Popper and made hand gestures outside of his window, according to investigators.
In the video, Popper is seen taking a handgun from the center console and pointing it towards his driver’s door. While beginning to pass the other driver, Popper is seen pointing the handgun toward his right-front passenger door.
Seconds later, FHP said, the driver pulled up to the passenger’s side of the car and threw a water bottle at Popper’s vehicle.
That’s when, troopers said, Popper shot through his own windows, with FHP counting 11 shots fired. The other vehicle was struck several times.
According to the arrest report, both the other driver and Popper reported the incident to the police. During the investigation, Popper told state troopers he believed he was shot at so that was why he began shooting. The other driver said he did not have a firearm but said he did throw a water bottle at Popper’s car. There were no reported injuries. Both parties were released at the scene.
According to FHP, the driver voluntarily provided the video to investigators. Popper turned himself into FHP on July 21 and is facing felony charges.
He has since bonded out of the Miami-Dade County jail but still faces a number of charges that include aggravated assault with a firearm.
Local 10 News learned that Popper was a civilian fire inspector with Miami Beach and resigned soon after the incident.