HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A deputy was shot at by a driver in a road rage incident, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
The incident happened just after 6 p.m. Wednesday on Balm Riverview Road and County Road 672.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said Deputy Daniel Henry was heading home after visiting the practical training range.
As Henry was driving northbound on Balm Riverview Road, Chronister said that Henry saw a green Saturn driving extremely slow.
The sheriff said the green Saturn driver, later identified as 49-year-old Tracy Swint of Riverview, started to get aggressive and began to brake-check Henry.
Chronister said when Henry tried to pass the Saturn, Swint rolled down his window holding a firearm, and fired toward the deputy.
The deputy then pulled over to get a description of the vehicle and tag number, Chronister said. Then he put it out on the radio.
Chronister said the bullet hit just behind the rear passenger door. He said if the bullet had been a little higher, it could have possibly struck Henry.
About 10 minutes later, another deputy saw the vehicle and called for backup. Chronister said the deputy conducted a felony traffic stop at a home in the Riverview area. Deputies then asked Swint to exit the vehicle.
Swint complied and was placed under arrest, Chronister said. Swint’s wife was also in the vehicle and taken into custody. Chronister said he doesn’t believe the Swint’s wife was involved in the incident.
Chronister said as Swint got out of the car, he kicked an empty beer can. He said there were several empty beer cans in the car. The sheriff also said Swint stopped at the Riverview home to pick up a friend to continue drinking.
Swint told investigators that he got stressed out and let his emotions get the best of him. He also said he didn’t realize he was shooting at a law enforcement officer.
“I have to tell you, I have a hard time believing that one, as you see our big, large Tahoe SUVs with sheriff written all the way down the side of it with decals that reflect at night. I find it hard to believe that he didn’t know that he was shooting at one of these law enforcement officers that keep this community safe,” Chronister said.
The sheriff’s office said Swint is facing charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and shooting into an occupied vehicle, both felonies.
“I have to tell you, I’m angry. I’m angry. I’m angry that anyone — any driver — would inflict violence on another human being in our community because his emotions got the best of him over something he believed was a traffic-related incident. I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed that any member of our Tampa Bay community would shoot at a law enforcement officer. The same law enforcement officer that’s out here protecting this community. And I have to tell you at the same time, I’m grateful. I’m grateful to God that this deputy wasn’t injured and after probably a lengthy interview and a long night for this deputy, he’s going to be able to go home to his family and his loved ones.”
The sheriff’s office said Henry has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office since October 2016 and works in District III.