It's beginning to look more and more that the Livingston County Road Rage incident was a case of two hot headed idiots playing a stupid game and both losing, one fatally.
This incident reinforces the point - don't get out of the boat, don't play tough guy and confront another driver, and don't be a stupid road-rager on the road, period.
It turns out that the shot and deceased Mr. Fleming had a history of both threatening others and at least one other incident where he got out of his vehicle in a road rage case and confronted another driver and then swung at someone.
The Detroit Free Press: Road-rage run-ins not first for Howell victim, shooter
It was not the first time Derek Flemming confronted another motorist.
He told Livingston County Sheriff's Department deputies that he "grew frustrated" with a driver in front of him who had pulled out onto westbound M-59 from Clark Road, according to a police report that bears both a January 2013 and January 2014 date.
He told police that he honked his horn several times and the driver twice braked "suddenly, almost causing (Derek Flemming) to rear-end the vehicle," the report noted.
Derek Flemming said the other driver eventually "boxed him in" as he made a "Michigan left," so he got out of his vehicle, leaving his wife in the car, and asked the other driver what he was doing, the report noted. [Note the similarity to his actions in the present case]
The police report stated that a physical confrontation occurred and the other driver allegedly pushed Flemming, who fell to the ground, landing on his back and hitting his head.
He also had previously
"became irate and threatened to kill (a deputy) and any Enbridge person who stepped onto his property"and allegedly launched fireworks at the Enbridge employees.
Meanwhile, Zale similarly has a history of violence and assuming the facts as reported as true, should not have legally had a CPL (conceled pistol license) to be legally allowed to carry a firearm that day:
According to 16th District Court records, Zale is wanted on an outstanding warrant alleging assault and battery for the 2008 incident in Livonia.
A Livonia Police Department report indicates a then-37-year-old Livonia man indicated that he was traveling east on 7 Mile Road and turned onto Farmington Road when Zale also turned onto Farmington from westbound 7 Mile.
The Livonia man said his vehicle was in front of Zale's and that Zale was following "close," prompting the Livonia man to tap his brakes to get the other driver to back off, the report noted. He said Zale followed him as he turned into a McDonald's parking lot and when he got out of his vehicle, a "verbal altercation started."
The Livonia man told Zale that he needed to "drive better or something like that," and that's when Zale struck him on the left side of the head "with a closed right fist," the report noted. He said Zale then left the parking lot.
At least two witnesses also reported to Livonia police that they saw Zale punch the victim with a closed fist and they wrote down his license plate number, which police traced to Zale.
This does bring up an interesting question - with an outstanding warrant for assault and battery, Zale's Concealed Pistol License should have been automatically suspended and he would have had to hand it in to his County Gun Board.
So, did he still have a permit through some oversight or was he in fact carrying illegally and not as a CPL holder as heavily reported at the time of the incident?