Wimauma man gets 8 years in prison for Brandon road rage shooting

Wimauma man gets 8 years in prison for Brandon road rage shooting

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Wimauma man convicted in a January 2023 road rage shooting in Brandon will spend the next eight years in federal prison.

James Eugene Smith, 44, plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in December, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

The incident started on Bloomington Avenue in Brandon. Smith thought the driver of a black sedan was brake-checking him while another driver was preventing him from passing.

He passed both cars in the bi-directional center lane and brake-checked the black car in return. The two drivers exchanged gunfire.

Smith told investigators he pulled a U-turn to try and get the black car’s tag. He spotted a gray sedan that he believed was the driver who fired at him and began to follow them.

After pulling into a gas station, Smith fired at the gray sedan, which had two people inside. A photo of the car taken after the shooting showed a bullet hole through the driver’s window, but neither victim was shot.

According to the DOJ, Smith had multiple felony convictions at the time of the shooting. Felons are not allowed to possess firearms.

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