Former Marine and father-of-3 fatally shot while apologizing to driver for cutting her off at red light
A Marine veteran was fatally shot by an angry passenger of a car while he was trying to apologize to the driver for cutting her off on a Florida road.
41-year-old Keith Byrne, a retired US Marine, was killed by 21-year-old Andre Sinclair as he tried to apologize to Sinclair's girlfriend for cutting her off in traffic in Davie, Florida, on June 7, according to the WSVN.
Police said Byrne's work truck accidentally cut off Sinclair's and his girlfriend's dark-colored BMW M5 sedan as both their cars approached a red light. Realizing his mistake, tried to issue an apology.
In response, Sinclair, who was seated in the passenger seat as his 19-month-old daughter sat at the back, brandished a gun.
Police said his girlfriend grabbed him by his shirt to prevent him from getting out of the vehicle, but he managed to get out with the gun and approached Byrne's work truck.
The two opened fire on each other and Byrne, who was on the phone with a friend the entire time, was fatally wounded and died at the scene.
"Mr. Byrne was acting in self-defense when he ultimately fired back," said Davie Police Lt. Mark Leone.
Sinclair himself suffered at least two gunshot wounds himself and was found lying on the street. Fire crews transported him to Broward Health Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries two days later. Police said that, if he had survived, he would have been charged with murder.
The Daily Mail reported that the 22-year-old had been cited three times in the past, all on driving charges — the first for speeding, the second for allowing someone under the age of 18 to be in a car without a seatbelt, and the third for an unspecified traffic infraction.
Byrne leaves behind three children.
A GoFundMe page set up to raise money to support Byrne's family for living, education, medical, funeral, and "many other expenses" paid tribute to the veteran.
"Keith was such an amazing father to his 3 beautiful children," a statement read. " Keith touched so many lives with his love and laughter. He put so much of himself and his love into his children and into every relationship in his bright life!"
"Keith, you were truly one of a kind and the world would be a better place with more people like you. We will miss you as a loving father and friend, but we will do everything in our power to honor you every day for the rest of our lives."
The page has raised $4,305 of a $20,000 goal in three days at the time of writing.
Byrne's family said he would be buried with full military honors at the South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth later this month.