No Charges To Be Filed Against Woman Who Fired Fatal Shot In Pierce County Road Rage Fight
March 17, 2018
Road rage graphic: Sky Valley Chronicle
(TACOMA, WA.) -- The young woman who shot a man to death in February during a road rage incident on the freeway will not face any criminal charges.
On Friday Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced that no charges would be filed against 24-year old Aubrey Tayler Bowlin of Tacoma in connection with the shooting death of 60-year old Bruce W. Jones of Roy, Washington on February 8th by the side of Interstate 5 as the two of them fought hand to hand.
Ms. Bowlin claimed she acted in self defense and, "Given the evidence, the Prosecutor’s Office office can not prove otherwise," said the statement from Lindquist.
The Prosecutor's office says the altercation that led to the fatal shooting began when Jones became upset at how Bowlin was "driving her motorcycle "on I-5 that day at the Pierce-King County Line.
According to the state patrol report on the incident, just before 5 pm that day a silver 2016 GMC Terrain SUV driven by Jones was southbound on I-5 from milepost 138 in the HOV lane and a blue 2008 Yamaha YZFR6 motorcycle driven by Bowlin was in front of the GMC headed in the same direction.
Traffic came to a stop and the motorcycle stopped with the traffic in the HOV lane while the GMC truck stopped on the left shoulder of the highway parallel to the bike. The prosecutor's office said Jones' GMC "boxed her into a location she could not drive away from," and after he got out of his vehicle he "aggressively approached her" on the shoulder of Interstate 5.
The state patrol report said the two got into a physical fight and at one point, “they were fighting on the ground,” said a patrol spokesperson to reporters at the scene.
The prosecutor's office said the fight "was initiated by Jones" and that during the fight, Bowlin head butted Jones "who then drove Bowlin's head into the jersey barrier before taking her to the ground. Bowlin shot Jones once in the chest when he attempted to climb on top of her."
Jones was pronounced dead at the scene by Tacoma fire department paramedics.
“This is another reminder to everyone to keep a cool head on our roads,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Nothing good is going to come from physically confronting another driver.”
By not being charged with a crime, Bowlin becomes member of a rare group
Research on self defense shootings that are later ruled as justified by prosecutors shows that Bowlin, in not being charged with a felony in the death of Jones, is in very rare company.
In 2014 the FBI reports there were "only 224 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm," according to data gathered by the Violence Policy Center and that is in a country with over 300 million guns in private ownership.
The VPC notes also that it is extremely rare for any American to actually deploy a gun in self defense, finding that "intended victims of violent crimes engaged in self-protective behavior that involved a firearm in just 1.1 percent of attempted and completed incidents between 2013 and 2015."
Put another way, that means close to 99% of intended victims of violent crimes in America did not use a gun to fend off an attacker between those years.
When it comes to killing, the Center found that "guns were used in 34 criminal homicides for every justifiable homicide" and that "a gun is far more likely to be used in a homicide or suicide than in a justifiable homicide. More guns are stolen each year than are used in self-defense."
“The NRA has staked its entire agenda on the claim that guns are necessary for self-defense, but this gun industry propaganda has no basis in fact,” stated VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann in June 2015 when the VPC announced the results of its research into justifiable self-defense killings where guns were used.