‘I was just trying to get out of the way’: How I-20 road rage shooting unfolded

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 9:59 AM EST
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MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Rescuers and law enforcement officers responded Monday morning to a shooting along Interstate 20 in Columbia County.

It happened around 9:45 a.m. just west of the Jimmie Dyess Parkway exit just south of Martinez.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Sharif Chochol said authorities believe it was a case of road rage. The driver of a tractor-trailer stopped and had an altercation with someone in a white pickup on the westbound side.

“I was just trying to get out of the way,” said Victoria James, who was driving east on I-20 when she saw the incident happen.

Law enforcement officers and rescue crews converged near the Dyess Parkway exit after two people were shot in Columbia County.

“I was going up to Wheeler Road because I had a doctor’s appointment,” she said. “I was two cars behind the 18-wheeler and I kept seeing it slam on brakes and swerving, but then I realized there was a white truck in front of it that was getting over in front of it. And the tractor-trailer was moving around to get away from hitting it.”

James says she was able to move over and go around the two trucks and saw the moments leading up to the shooting.

“When I looked in the rear-view mirror, the truck was doing it again — the white truck cutting off the 18-wheeler,” she said. “They both pulled over on the side of the road, and that’s as far as I could see because I got too far ahead.”

Chochol said authorities believed the driver of the tractor-trailer shot the two people in the pickup.

Arrests are made in three local shooting incidents: one on Interstate 20 and two slayings at housing complexes.

Somehow the altercation ended up on the eastbound side of I-20, as well.

The driver of the tractor-trailer has been arrested and the two people in the truck were taken to a local hospital, according to authorities.

The big-rig driver was identified as Theondra Trimaine Ransom, 43. He is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to the sheriff’s agency.

The victims were identified as Dean Brown Jr., 52, of Harlem, who was the driver of the pickup, and Dean Brown III, 26, of Bowman, S.C.

One of the victims was stable Monday afternoon and the other was in critical condition, sheriff’s Maj. Steve Morris said,

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