Saturday, September 21, 2013
Two Michigan drivers shot and killed each other Wednesday night after a road rage incident took a fatal turn in a drive-in car wash parking lot, police said.
Robert Taylor, 56, and James Pullum, 43, were driving on a highway in Ionia, Mich., when Taylor began to closely follow Pullum, according to the Ionia Public Safety Department, based on witness reports.
The two drivers eventually pulled into the parking lot of Wonder Wand Car Wash, at the intersection of M-66 highway and Steele Street. where they got out of their vehicles and fired shots at each other, police said. The two men exchanged a total of eight to nine shots, police said.
Pullum’s mother and wife were both passengers in the Ford Taurus at the time of the incident, while Taylor, driving a Chrysler PT Cruiser, was alone, police said. No one else was injured.
The drivers were transported to Sparrow Ionia Hospital, where they were pronounced dead shortly after 7 p.m. local time, authorities said.
Police told ABC News that they cannot release information about who fired their weapon first.
Taylor had a misdemeanor conviction in 2006 for driving while intoxicated and separately for carrying a gun in the car, Ionia County Prosecutor Robert Schafer told ABC News. As a result, his concealed weapons license was revoked for three years. He eventually applied and received a new license four years later in 2010, Schafer said.
Michael Wood, the owner of the Wonder Wand Car Wash, told ABC News that he also has a concealed license permit, just like the two drivers did, but never carries a gun with him.
“It’s the strangest situation I’ve ever heard of,” Wood said. “We’ve all had altercations in road rage, but to pull a weapon?”
Wood said he knew both Taylor and Pullum and that both were well-liked in the community. In fact, an employees at his car wash was best friends with Pullum, Wood said.
The confirmed cause of death was indeed gunshot wounds, said the Ionia Public Safety Department, which is waiting for toxicology and autopsy reports to see if alcohol or drugs were involved.
Taylor’s family could not be reached for comment. A woman at Pullum’s residence said the family is not making any statements at this time.