Police officials are seeking public help to investigate the death of John Kuczwanski, Florida’s legislative affairs director for state, in a road rage incident in north Tallahassee after a shoot out last week.
Kuczwanski, the legal director for the state board of administration, was killed on 6 January after an alleged altercation over an auto accident in a parking lot at the intersection of Thomasville and Bannerman Roads.
“When deputies arrived, they found 53-year-old John Kuczwanski with life-threatening injuries,” the Leon County sheriff’s department said on Tuesday. “Deputies and EMS personnel attempted life-saving measures on the scene. Kuczwanski was transported to a local hospital by ambulance, where he was pronounced deceased.”
It said that the case is an active and ongoing investigation, but no charges have been filed so far.
“The Leon County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident in-person or have video of what happened leading up to and after the incident to contact the LCSO Violent Crimes Unit,” the statement added.
Shortly after the incident, the sheriff’s office took one person into custody but released him soon afterwards.
An altercation broke out between the law enforcement officer and another driver at around 5pm, after Kuczwanski reportedly caused an accident. He is also believed to have started the shootout that culminated in his death, reported Florida Politics.
After Kuczwanski’s BMW drifted out of its lane while heading north on Thomasville Road, it hit a white Prius, sparking a clash between the two drivers. The cars then pulled up into a parking lot and the other driver confronted Kuczwanski about hitting his car.
The other driver eventually went back inside his car to wait for law enforcement officers but Kuczwanski is believed to have then rammed his BMW into the driver’s door. He also allegedly pushed the car sideways in the parking lot.
After hitting the white Prius with the driver inside, Kuczwanski shot at the car, the report said. The other driver also brought out a gun and fired back into the BMW’s windshield, hitting Kuczwanski.
However, his wife Rebekah Kuczwanski said that he was “trying to get away from a man shooting at him”.
“You’d try to escape too! He was trapped and assassinated!” she wrote on Twitter.
She added: “Our whole lives are shattered. The children and I, his friends and family, so many who adored this wonderful, kind, loving man who would do anything for anyone. We are all devastated. The whole world lost a great man!”
This is not the first time Kuczwanski was involved in a road rage incident.
In 2014, he was arrested for another road rage incident at the same intersection. Kuczwanski had “pointed a small, black in colour handgun with a mounted laser” at another driver at that time. Kuczwanski had pleaded no contest to assault and disorderly conduct charges back then, and was sentenced to probation.