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Indianapolis man feels lucky to be alive after parking lot shootout

Posted at 10:30 PM, Apr 16, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — Police said a shootout in an AutoZone parking lot off Lafayette Road happened after one driver cut off another.

Both of those drivers are in the hospital, and another man said he's lucky to be alive.

"And he raised up and he fired a shot at me," Dell Howard said. "It hit my backseat right here, and you can see how that angle is. I'm sitting right here. Bam!"

Howard hit the gas, but he thought he was shot at first. In that moment, he thought of his son who was shot and killed just months ago.

"He was just getting ready to start his new job that Tuesday, and then he was gunned down that Sunday morning," Howard said.

The father and grandfather thought his family would have to mourn another loss to gun violence, but the bullet narrowly missed his head. The shot was part of the crossfire between Howard's passenger and another driver after an apparent road rage incident.

"Words here exchanged and then as a result of both of them arguing, one pulled out a gun and then they both started shooting at each other," Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer Aaron Hamer said.

Both shooters were taken to the hospital in stable condition. Hamer said it's never appropriate to take matters into your own hands when dealing with an aggressive driver.

"This is a perfect example of what not to do," Hamer said.

He also said you should never engage with other drivers who are behaving aggressively on the roads. Just call over and call police.

Howard said he's not sure how he would have handled the incident differently, but he knows this wasn't the way.

"Guns are not the answer," Howard said. "I truly got blessed on this one. I could've easily been a victim over nothing."