On Independence Day, an incident of road rage left two parents and their two children injured after gunfire ignited a truck full of fireworks. The father had gotten into an argument with another man while at a gas station. The man then pulled out a gun and opened fire, shooting at the family’s pickup as they tried to leave.
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The incident took place at a gas station in Houston. According to a report by CNN, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that the confrontation started when “somebody cut someone off.” The father and the other man, Bayron J. Rivera, pulled into the gas station and exchanged words.
The argument lasted about 20 minutes. Then, Rivera took out a firearm.
After seeing the gun, the father returned to his vehicle – which his wife and two young children were in – and tried to drive away. In the truck was a bundle of fireworks that the family had just purchased.
As the family fled, Rivera opened fire at their vehicle. One of the rounds struck the fireworks, which exploded and set the truck ablaze.
The father slammed on the brakes as the flames grew, and some “good Samaritans” rushed to the vehicle to help the family get out.
The children – a one-year-old and a two-year-old – sustained “severe burns” from the fireworks, according to Violent Crimes Unit Deputy Tom Turner. The children had to be life flighted to a University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
Both of the parents were transported to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries, which were less severe.
FLAMES FROM FIREWORKS: The Harris County Sheriff's Office says a family of 4 was badly burned after their truck caught on fire.
— Katherine Marchand (@KatherineMABC13) July 5, 2019
Rivera initially fled the scene, but later turned himself in to authorities. An AR-15 – that investigators say is “consistent with evidence we found at the scene” – was also recovered.
Rivera faces four counts of aggravated assault and is custody.
Surveillance video shows the vehicle – possibly a 2016-18 Ford Explorer – involved in the July 4 road rage incident that set off fireworks that consumed the cab of a family's pickup. Please call 713-274-9100 or @CrimeStopHOU at 713-222-TIPS. https://t.co/idXhMWbh4C #HouNews pic.twitter.com/VC0tGqJyzO
— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) July 5, 2019