Howell (MI)

“What’s your problem?”: Father of 2 Gunned down by Road Rage Driver

According to [attorney William] Moore, [Derek] Flemming and his wife [Amy] were eastbound on Grand River Avenue in their SUV about 3:35 p.m. Tuesday when they noticed a 2012 Dodge pickup “screaming down a side street” so fast that Amy Flemming believed it was going to hit their SUV, but instead cut them off as it turned onto Grand River.

Moore said Derek Flemming attempted to move to the right lane to allow the pickup to pass, but the other driver nearly struck their SUV.

Bezotte said the pickup driver was tailgating the Flemmings’ Escape until they reached National Street where the pickup driver passed the SUV.

Moore said Amy Flemming told police that the pickup driver cut to the left, getting in front of their SUV and he “slammed on the brakes.”

Witnesses indicated that the younger man appeared to be “upset” or “angry” as he approached the pickup, Bezotte said, but it is believed there was no physical contact between the men before the shooting.

“His wife was forced to witness this act from the front seat of her car,” Moore said.

Attorney: Man accused in Howell road rage shooting drove recklessly before attack. Detroit Free Press, 9/4/2014.

Livingston County Prosecutor William Vailliencourt expressed his condolences to the Flemming family during a 4 p.m. press conference today. He also said this case is not about a citizen’s right to possess guns.

“I fully support the right of individuals to keep and possess firearms, but it’s when they misuse those weapons that it becomes a problem,” he said.

Vailliencourt said he’s confident the suspect, Martin Edward Zale, wasn’t reacting in self-defense when he shot Derek Flemming once in the face as the 43-year-old father of two stood outside Zale’s pickup truck on Tuesday following a road rage incident. He said a jury will decide if there was a reasonable threat of imminent harm from Martin Edward Zale’s viewpoint.

Vailliencourt said you can’t shoot someone because you’re not happy with them.

Alleged shooter arraigned on open murder charge. Livingston Daily, 9/5/2014.

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