In what is suspected to be a road rage incident, Oro Valley police continue to investigate the death of a 22-year-old Tucson resident, while charging 21-year-old David Arnoldo Mota with first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
Around 7:50 p.m. Feb. 28, Oro Valley Police Spokeswoman Kara Riley said deputies responded to the area of Oracle Road and First Avenue in reference to a report of shots fired. At the scene, officers located Switalski, who was suffering from a gunshot. Officers immediately began rendering first aid. The victim was transported to a local area hospital by Golder Ranch Fire District, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Detectives interviewed a number of witnesses who reported that two vehicles traveling northbound along Oracle Road appeared to be engaged in some type of verbal altercation. The confrontation involved the male driver of a pick-up truck, suspected to be Mota, and Switalski who was driving a sedan. The drivers each had a passenger in their vehicle. As both vehicles continued traveling on Oracle Road, one of the occupants in the pick-up truck brandished a firearm and began shooting at the sedan. Upon being mortally wounded, Switalski’s vehicle came to rest in the emergency lane of Oracle Road near the intersection of First Avenue. No other injuries were reported.
Oro Valley police detectives responded to continue the investigation. Detectives have determined that the driver, Mota, is believed to have fired at Switalski’s sedan. Mota was arrested and booked into the Pima County Adult Detention Center.
Detectives are requesting the assistance of any members of the public who may have witnessed the confrontation or the shooting itself to please call 911, 88-crime or 229-4900.
While shootings in Oro Valley are uncommon, incidents of road rage in the U.S. are not.
According to a survey by the AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, eight out of 10 drivers said aggressive driving is a “serious” or “extremely serious” risk that jeopardizes their safety.
According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), aggressive driving is defined as a progression of unlawful actions such as speeding, excessive lane changing, failing to signal intent, using an emergency lane to pass, passing on the shoulder, and seeking confrontation with other drivers.
For those who might come in contact with an aggressive driver, DPS recommends drivers do the following:
• Get out of the way – First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of their way.
• Put pride aside – Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your own in your travel lane.
• Avoid eye contact – Eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver.
• Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
• Report serious aggressive driving – Those feeling they are in danger should call police immediately.