72-year-old road rage victim has strong words for suspect

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PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man whose truck was shot during an apparent road rage incident over the weekend in Putnam County said he thought his tire had blown.

The incident happened just before 11 a.m. Saturday along Interstate 40 West near mile marker 287.

The 72-year-old victim Earl Cook told News 2 that he was driving a truck down the interstate from Rockwood to Clarksville to visit his sisters when he saw a black Honda or Acura with dark tinted windows get on at exit 287.

Cook said he was behind a tractor trailer driving about 65 mph as the suspect car traveled behind him.

When the suspect’s car got into the left lane, Cook said it pulled up beside him, and he heard three popping noises, before the car sped off.

“I thought I blew a tire,” Cook said. “I continued on I-40 about three more miles, and that’s when someone pulled up beside me, motioned I had a problem. When I pulled off, it was pouring gasoline out of it.”

Cook noticed a bullet hole in his fuel tank and said he realized the driver of the suspect car had shot at his truck.

“There were three shots fired. I’m positive. Only one hit the truck,” Cook said. “I believe they were trying to shoot my tires out. I’ll tell that guy that I would like to take him and teach him how to shoot a gun, and he probably won’t never pull another trigger is what I think.”

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office put out an alert late Saturday asking for any potential witnesses to come forward, but Cook said there was very little traffic on the road at the time.

“I’ve never had anything like this happen to me. I’m 72-years-old and I don’t go down the road trying to aggravate nobody. I was only traveling,” Cook said. “It was only me in the truck, but if I’d had some of my grandkids and stuff, if that tank had exploded, it could’ve been a whole lot worse.”

Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact THP at 800-434-6393.

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