COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) No charges will be filed in a fatal shooting at a Springs Taco Bell last month, the district attorney's office said Thursday.
The shooter's family told 11 News that the incident began as road rage, and that as the dispute escalated, 80-year-old Jack Rogers warned 23-year-old Jesse Garcia he had a gun.
"My dad warned the young man, 'Leave me alone. There is a gun right here,' and he pointed to his console, which was an open weapon. And the young man reached across my dad's chest and reached for the gun. So they were struggling for the gun and the gun went off," Rogers' daughter Joni told 11 News after the shooting.
District Attorney Dan May said surveillance footage backed up Rogers' account.
"Everything he said has been confirmed by the physical evidence and by the videotape itself."
"Mr. Garcia got out of his car, left the driver’s side door open and the engine of his car running, and crossed the parking lot toward Mr. Rogers’ vehicle. Mr. Rogers had not left his vehicle and the windows on the passenger and driver’s side of his vehicle were down. Mr. Garcia got to the driver’s side window of Mr. Rogers’ vehicle and there was a conversation or exchange of words between the two parties, possibly over how Mr. Garcia was upset at Mr. Rogers’ driving. Mr. Rogers reported that he had a gun in his vehicle and had it in his hand when the male driving the white car approached Mr. Rogers while he was in his vehicle. Mr. Rogers also reported that he started to put the gun down towards the center console and get his phone out of the pocket of his shirt to call 911. Mr. Rogers reported that as he was going to call the police, Mr. Garcia came through the open window of Mr. Rogers’ vehicle and Mr. Garcia hit Mr. Rogers. According to the surveillance video obtained from the area, Mr. Garcia is observed lunging into Mr. Rogers’ vehicle with most of his upper body inside the driver’s side window of Mr. Rogers’ vehicle. Mr. Rogers described that the two wrestled over the gun, the gun went off, and Mr. Garcia had been shot. Mr. Garcia is observed falling out of Mr. Rogers’ vehicle and to the ground of the Taco Bell parking lot."-excerpt from the DA's review
The DA's office said prior to the argument, Garcia was tailgating Rogers as Rogers drove to the Taco Bell near South Nevada and Brookside. Garcia followed Rogers into the parking lot, and confronted Rogers after they both parked, according to the DA's investigation.
Based on the results of the investigation, Rogers will not be charged.
SIMILAR INCIDENT IN 1993
A similar incident in Colorado Springs got national attention back in 1993. A teenager was shot and killed on the shoulder of I-25.
Vern Smalley said the teen came up to his car and attacked him following a road rage incident.
Smalley was acquitted. He said he pulled out the gun for self-defense and it went off accidentally.
You can read that full story here.