PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A man who had just been released from prison after serving time for a road rage killing was shot and killed during another road rage encounter in Florida Wednesday morning, authorities say.
Wednesday’s road rage incident happened at 7 a.m. near the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Branch Forbes Road.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, one driver stopped his car in front of the other, got out of his pickup truck and approached the motorist behind him. That’s when an argument escalated between the two.
Investigators say the car’s driver, 42-year-old Robert Padgett, warned Gary Lynn Durham, who was driving a pickup truck, before he pulled out a gun and shot him.
When paramedics arrived, they found Padgett giving CPR to Durham, who later died.
According to the sheriff’s office, Durham had recently been released from prison for killing a man during a road rage incident. He spent 11 years behind bars.
A sheriff’s office spokesperson said Padgett will not be arrested and that he is cooperating with the investigation.
“He was trying to do the right thing and make sure the individual would survive,” HCSO Col. Donna Lusczynski said. Padgett was released by deputies pending a State’s Attorney’s Office review of the case.
Durham’s long legal history
Those who knew Durham aren’t surprised by Wednesday’s encounter. In fact, they say, this was bound to happen.
The ex-con, with a rap sheet a mile long, had anger issues and violent tendencies, people say. His ruthless temper was well-documented in court records. He served prison time for convictions involving grand theft and aggravated assault.
He then served the 11-year manslaughter prison term in the road rage case. He was required to attend anger management counseling for picking that fight and killing the man.
That first deadly case of road rage occurred in Tampa in 2001. Durham became enraged behind the wheel, angry with a fellow motorist. He followed the man into a parking lot.
The other driver was a cancer survivor who had recently become a grandfather. Timothy Gibbs, just 48 years old, was sucker punched so hard by Durham he lay in the hospital brain dead for days before succumbing to his injuries.
Durham had been upset with Gibbs after the two men exchanged words and hand gestures while in traffic. Durham, however, took it a step further and insisted on a face-to-face argument, then delivering that fatal blow.
Gibbs’ widow, Nancy, talked to WFLA Wednesday. “I know it’s not the Christian thing to say, but this is poetic justice,” she said.