‘He’s trying to kill me’: Video captures moments after man was shot in terrifying road rage battle

A man was shot and an innocent bystander was hospitalized after a driver opened fire during a road rage incident in Hall County.

Michael Gabriel says he is grateful to be alive after surviving a road rage shooting that injured him and left a 65-year-old woman in critical condition.

Gabriel showed Matt Johnson, Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief the bullet holes still in the SUV in which he was on Wednesday morning, including one in the driver’s side headrest. Gabriel was shot in the shoulder and once in the lower back, but says the injuries are minor.

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“It took a serious hand from God to keep me alive and here today,” he said.

Gabriel says he was on his way to a doctor’s appointment Wednesday morning on SR 365 in Gainesville when a driver in a brake Mustang checked him out.

“I go around him and look at him like, ‘what are you thinking?'” Gabriel said.

It was then that he felt a bullet go through his car and hit him in the shoulder. He remembers hearing three shots.

“There was no warning shot,” he said. “He was trying to kill me.”


Gabriel says he took out his phone to record a video and ran to catch up with the driver of the Mustang to get his license plate number. He dropped his phone when he heard nine more shots hit his car near YMCA Drive and SR 365.

Gainesville police responded to 911 calls and arrested 26-year-old Steven Cooper.

Gabriel then learned that Paula Blackwell, 65, was in critical condition after police said she was hit by one of Cooper’s bullets.

“My family and I have had her in our prayers,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Gainesville police say Cooper had a two-year-old child in the car with him during the shooting. Cooper remains in jail and faces multiple charges.

“It’s really not worth it,” Gabriel said. “If someone drives you crazy, greet them and say a prayer for them.”

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