Man hit by car shoots driver, neither man charged with a crime - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Man hit by car shoots driver, neither man charged with a crime

Feb. 9 Feb. 9

A man pinned between two cars after a fender-bender in Woodburn believed the driver was trying to kill him, so he pulled out his concealed gun and opened fire.

Both men were hurt, but neither will face criminal charges.

What a grand jury determined was a bizarre accident, followed by justified use of force, began unfolding on Feb. 9.

Investigators said LeJeune Bryant, 37, of Woodburn, was on the Newberg Highway over Interstate 5 at 7 p.m. when he hit the car in front of him. That car was driven by Ethan Carey, 31, of Tigard, with his wife and two small children also in the car.

Police said Bryant looked away from the road momentarily and failed to see the heavy traffic flow had stopped prior to the crash.

No one was hurt. Bryant and Carey both got out to inspect their cars. Both men told investigators they were not upset and they did not argue with each other.

They both had valid driver's licenses and insurance so they agreed to pull out of traffic and exchange information at a nearby gas station.

Before leaving, Carey got back out of his car and walked between the two vehicles. He intended to take a photo of Bryant's license plate, just to be safe. The plate was bent backward, so to get a photo of it, Carey had to kneel between the cars.

Bryant began to drive away when he noticed Carey was out of his car. Bryant got out to ask if everything was OK, according to investigators, not realizing he had left his car in drive.

The car rolled forward and pinned Carey between the cars.

Bryant jumped back in his car to back it away from Carey, but his foot slipped and he drove forward again. Carey was crushed between the cars and suffered a broken collarbone in multiple places.

"He was burning out at this time. Not a love tap or ‘I forgot to take it out of gear' situation. His vehicle, I could hear his motor and his tires burning out against me," said Carey.

Carey said at that moment he believed Bryant was trying to kill him.

Carey was able to stand up and he reached for his concealed gun with his right hand. Bryant placed the car in reverse, but when Carey heard the engine rev, he believed he was about to get crushed again.

"I heard his vehicle revving up again and that point I viewed that I had no other option but to protect my life, so I drew my gun and I fired three times. As soon as I did, his motor calmed down," added Carey.

Those shots went through the windshield, hitting Bryant in the chest, elbow and jaw.

He then put his weapon on the pavement, aimed away from anyone else, and told his wife to call 911. He then waited for emergency crews to arrive.

"I did not have choices that I could have made differently. I was forced into each situation and I was forced into using my fire arm to defend myself given the set of circumstances as presented," said Carey.

Neither man suffered life-threatening injuries.

Drugs and alcohol were not factors in the situation and police said both men cooperated with the investigation. Neither has any criminal history.

Carey had a valid concealed weapons permit. He said he had never used his weapon outside of target shooting.

The grand jury determined Bryant's actions were accidental, not criminal, and Carey's use of force was reasonable under the circumstances he believed them to be at the time.

We did attempt to contact Bryant for reaction to this decision but our phone calls were not returned.

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