‘An idiot with a gun’: 2 shot after man gets in road rage battle with another driver in Gainesville

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — An innocent bystander was critically injured after she got caught in the crossfire of a road rage shooting in Hall County Wednesday.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Channel 2′s Veronica Griffin was in Gainesville, where bullets started flying as people were traveling along Cornelia Highway.

Police said 26-year-old Steven Cooper was in heated road-rage battle with another driver. The incident started along 365 just north of Gainesville, when at some point, Cooper started shooting at the other driver, Michael Gabrial.


Gabrial was shot and continue to drive south into Gainesville, where he stopped and called police. He sustained minor injures.

Investigators said a third driver minding her own business, 65-year-old Paula Blackwell, was shot and critically injured.

A Hall County deputy caught the tail end of the incident and was able to stop and the suspect until Gainesville police arrived.

Charlie Brown lives next door to the victim. He told Channel 2 Action News that Blackwell was shot in the liver and that his family is praying that she recovers.

“One day you’re fine, then one day, you’re in the hospital because some idiot has shot you,” Brown said. “And all you were doing was driving down the road.”

Cooper was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]