• Road rage victim shot on I-5, pregnant wife unhurt

    By: Alison Grande

    Updated:

    A Tacoma man is recovering after he was shot during a road rage incident on I-5 as he drove his pregnant wife to work.

    The incident happened at 6:12 a.m. Wednesday in the NB lanes of I-5 between the Boeing Access Road and the exit to Michigan Street.

    >> Related: No charges filed after man killed in apparent road rage shooting on I-5

    "By the grace of God I'm still here," said Mattathias Israel, who has bandages on his leg where a bullet passed through. He can't stop thinking about how close that bullet came to his pregnant wife.  "She could have got shot, that's why I feel this guy really needs to be off the street."

    Israel, 29, says he was going about 5 MPH over the speed limit when a driver in a dark gray or teal Toyota came up behind him and flashed his lights.  

    >> Related: Man with 'DIRTBAG' vanity plate arrested after Bellevue road rage incident

    As Israel was waiting until there was room to change lanes, he says the other driver changed lanes to get in front of him and then slammed on his brakes. 

    Israel says he swerved out of the way so he wouldn't rear-end the Toyota. But it didn't stop there; he says the driver then changed lanes and drove behind Israel, flashing his lights again.

    "That's when I start driving slow on purpose because I'm like, he pissed me off. He tried to make me rear-end him," said Israel, "So you're stuck behind me now."

    All of a sudden, the suspect swerved across several lanes to take the Michigan Street exit; as he drove away, he fired two bullets at Israel's car, according to the Washington State Patrol. 

    Troopers are asking for the public's help to find the suspect's car, a dark gray or teal Toyota car with two Seahawks stickers on the side of the vehicle. 

    "We're concerned he's going to do the same thing to another victim," said Trooper Rick Johnson.

    Israel called 911 and drove himself to Harborview. The bullet passed through his leg and into the seat. Israel does masonry work and is a member of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2.

    He was headed to get his next job the day he got shot. Now he'll need to take time off work to recover.

    There is a GoFundMe page to help with his medical expenses and time off work.  

    "It could have been way worse," said Israel.

    If you witnessed the incident and can help investigators you're asked to call the Washington State Patrol.


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