Baton Rouge native killed in apparent road rage shooting on Texas interstate
VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (WAFB) - A deadly road rage shooting in Texas has a connection to right here in Baton Rouge.
According to Van Zandt County Sheriff Joe Carter, at 1:20 p.m. Tuesday, September 19, at the 520-mile marker on Interstate 20, Jason Rashad Williams, of Danville, Illinois, was driving an 18-wheeler when he allegedly opened fire on a vehicle. One of the vehicle’s four occupants was struck by the gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene. Sheriff Carter says that road rage is suspected as the motive in the shooting, but they are still investigating.
Family members have confirmed to WAFB that the victim was 31-year-old Caitlin Elizabeth, known by her nicknames of ‘Caty’ and ‘Teddy.’
Elizabeth was a hair stylist and beautician from right here in Baton Rouge but was living in Dallas at the time.
Family members say she was traveling home to bring her sister back to Baton Rouge when the deadly encounter took place.
“I’m relying on the Most High (God), the Most High, and my family, and my friends,” said Senta Holmes, mother of the victim, Caitlin Elizabeth.
Senta Holmes is heartbroken and is left wondering why and how this could happen.
“She was a beautician, she was very talented, she was very loving, and I just, I’m devastated,” said Holmes.
The Sheriff’s Office originally got a 911 call that a passenger in a vehicle had been shot on the interstate, allegedly by someone inside an 18-wheeler.
“Heard several officers were responding to a shooting on I-20,” said Pat Jordan, Van Zandt County Precinct 4 Constable.
Van Zandt County Pct. 4 Constable Pat Jordan said he was driving east on I-20 towards Tyler at the time of the incident. Jordan heard the call come through while driving, and requested a description of the suspect’s vehicle. Jordan was told to look for a maroon truck pulling a white trailer. He pulled over the first one he saw that matched the description around mile marker 542 just 17 minutes after the initial 911 call.
“So, I had to catch up with it, I caught up with it about 542, the 543-mile marker, initiated my lights and it pulled over,” he said.
Jordan said he motioned to the driver, who exited the truck and came to the back to talk to Jordan. He later identified himself as Williams. He complied fully, Jordan said, and answered questions about the altercation.
“I asked him, I said, ‘Were you involved in an altercation down the road?’ and he said ‘Yes,” said Jordan.
Williams admitted to having a weapon on him, and after taking Williams .45 caliber handgun, Jordan said he became more convinced he had found the suspect.
“He said he was coming down the road, a vehicle pulled up beside him, they got into some type of verbal -- verbal argument, and she threw something in his truck. I asked him, I said, ‘Did you have a gun pointed at them?’ (Williams) ‘Ya, ya.’ (Jordan) ‘Did you fire the gun?’ (Williams) ‘I don’t know,”’ said Jordan.
According to our sister station KLTV, after a search warrant was obtained for the truck, another gun was found and confiscated. Williams was detained at the scene for questioning, and was arrested soon after for the suspected murder of the victim.
Jordan said he felt fortunate to have found Williams so quickly after the call.
“In this business, we work hard to solve cases, but sometimes it takes a little bit of luck. If I would have sat there and missed that vehicle in that 15 second range, we probably would still have a whodunit,” Jordan said.
Caitlin’s mom says her daughter was in the car with other siblings at the time. She says they told her that Williams had been trailing their vehicle for miles, and when the two cars finally caught up to each other side by side, words were exchanged.
“My other daughter was calling me to tell me my daughter was shot in the face by a guy driving an 18-wheeler. And they said he was trailing them and they would go into one lane, he would go into the next. and they ended up beside each other and my daughter said ‘was there a problem?’ because they couldn’t get in front of him, they couldn’t pass him. And he just, when she said that, my other daughter said that she was getting the baby. My daughter-in-law was driving, and they had no clue that he was going to shoot her,” Holmes said.
The other women and the baby were not reported to have any injuries.
“She just asked him what was the problem, why were you doing, this is what they were thinking. And the next thing they knew they heard a bang, a small bang, they thought the tire was out,” said Holmes.
Williams is charged with one count of murder and three additional counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Caitlin’s mom describes her daughter as a giving person and will be missed dearly by those who knew and grew up with her in Baton Rouge.
“And she was funny, and she was Caty. When you met her, she didn’t make friends lightly, but she did have a lot of friends,” said Holmes.
Van Zandt County Sheriff Joe Carter was quoted as saying: “I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all our Law Enforcement Partners who assisted and worked tirelessly on this investigation to ensure the person responsible for this senseless act of violence was apprehended. Quality Law Enforcement Officers came together to ensure the victim and their family receive the justice that is so desperately deserved. Please keep the victim’s family in your thoughts and prayers over the coming days.”
Holmes traveled to Texas to speak with law enforcement and prosecutors Wednesday about the case.
She plans to bring Caitlin’s body home to Baton Rouge on Thursday to begin making funeral arrangements.
Williams is currently being held at the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center on $1.75 million bond.
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