A battered, dark-colored pickup truck tore through the grassy shoulder to the right of Padgett’s SUV, cut back into the lane and skidded to a halt. Padgett slammed on his brakes to avoid a collision.
Seconds later, the pickup driver appeared in the glow of Padgett’s headlights — a burly, bald man shouting threats and waving his arms as he walked toward the SUV. Padgett told Durham to get back in his car, but he continued to approach. Padgett warned that he was armed.
I don’t give a f — if you have a gun. I’m going to kick your a–.
Padgett warned him again, then drew his gun with his left hand and pointed it out the driver-side window. He warned Durham he’d shoot.
I’m going to f—– kill you.
He was almost to Padgett’s driver-side mirror.
At that moment, Durham appeared to reach toward his waist.
Padgett squeezed the trigger once.
Detectives told him if he’d gotten out of his SUV, Durham probably would have hurt or killed him, Padgett said. Criminal charges seemed unlikely, but he would have to wait two months for the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office to decide.
The man he shot had killed a man in 2002 in nearly the same situation, and had served 10 years in prison for the killing. In fact, that homicide was his third stretch in prison. He was released in 2012 and was on probation at the time of his death.
Durham’s widow, Heather, did not respond to interview requests for this story. In August, she told the Times her husband was a kind, generous man who wasn’t defined by his past.
Read the whole story here. It is an excellent story of a defensive shooting, and the PTSD that the shooter experienced in its aftermath.