Road rage victim's wife struggles with loss

Police believe 46-year-old man was shot while driving

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Rebecca Schadowsky says she's numb, trying to wrap her head around her new reality.

The man she's spent every day with for more than two decades is gone. Thomas Schadowsky (pictured, below), 46, was killed Wednesday night in a road rage shooting, according to Jacksonville police.

"I've been married to him since I was 18, so it's not going to be easy, I know that," Schadowsky.

Her husband was killed while driving his truck near a Gate gas station off Dunn Avenue near North Campus Boulevard. Police believe he may have had an argument with a man at the station, and that man jumped in his truck and followed him toward Interstate 295.

Detectives said a woman heard a gunshot, and when police found Thomas Schadowsky's truck in the woods, he was dead, slumped over in the driver's seat.

His 21-year-old daughter and wife are devastated, but say they feel so blessed to have had his love in their lives.

"That's one thing I know for sure is, he loved me and I'm so thankful for that," Schadowsky said. "So many people live in this world without it, and I see that every day where I work, and I'm so thankful I was surrounded by love and I was loved."

Schadowsky said she's going to miss her husband's sense of humor and smile. But there's something she's going to miss more than anything.

"This might sound crazy, but I'm going to miss his hands," she said. "He had big, strong hands. He worked real hard for a living, seven days a week, 10-12 hours a day. Every night before he went to bed I would make him lay his hand on my face and that's how I'd fall asleep every night."

She hasn't slept since, wondering why and who could commit such a horrifying act.

"Killed my husband. Do you know how difficult that is for me to say?" Schadowsky said. "Somebody killed my husband, somebody killed the father of my child, and I'm begging anyone who knows anything to have the guts and the courage and the love to make a phone call."

Police said a possible vehicle of interest was seen following Thomas Schadowsky's pickup truck. It was described to investigators as a burnt orange Chevrolet Avalanche or Cadillac Escalade with a FAMU license tag.

Anyone with any information about what happened is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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