HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputy was shot at by another driver in a case of road rage, the agency said in a news release Wednesday night.
It happened just after 6 p.m. on Balm Riverview Road and CR-672, according to the sheriff's office. Deputy Daniel Henry, 33, was headed home from a sheriff's office day of training when he got behind a green Saturn driving "well-below" the speed limit, Sheriff Chad Chronister said during a news conference.
"The driver of that vehicle immediately starts getting aggressive and engaging in what we call a road rage incident," Chronister said.
The driver, identified as 49-year-old Tracy Swint of Riverview, proceeded to brake check Henry driving behind him in a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office SUV, Chronister said. In an effort to avoid Swint, the deputy attempted to drive around the car.
That's when the sheriff said Swint put his window down and fired a gunshot at the deputy. The bullet hit just behind the passenger side door. Had the bullet hit a little higher and gone through the window, Chronister said Wednesday night's news conference could've taken a devastating turn.
The Hillsborough deputy immediately pulled over to assess what happened, he said. Realizing he wasn't hit by the bullet, Henry immediately put out a call to other deputies on the radio, giving the tag, driver's description and the model.
Less than 10 minutes after the shooting, another Hillsborough deputy was able to spot the green car and called for backup. Deputies performed a felony traffic stop and the driver pulled over to a home and complied with deputies' orders, Chronister said.
As Swint exited his car, deputies noticed beer cans at his feet. Apparently, he and his wife were about to pick up a friend to head to a bar, Chronister said. They also found marijuana in the car.
Upon his arrest, Swint told deputies he was stressed out and let his "emotions get the best of him" at the time of the shooting. He also told them he didn't know he was shooting at a law enforcement officer.
"I find that hard to believe that he didn't know that he was shooting at one of these law enforcement officers that keep this community safe," Chronister said during the news conference, noting the large SUV, "sheriff's office" written across the side and decals that reflect at night.
Chronister expressed anger and disappointment in what took place throughout the news conference. Swint's wife was also taken into custody, but the sheriff's office doesn't believe she had anything to do with the shooting.
Swint was not immediately breathalyzed after he was placed under arrest, Chronister said. Swint faces felony charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and shooting into an occupied vehicle. He is being booked into the county jail.
Henry has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office since October 2016 and works in the northeast side of Hillsborough County.