Man who was imprisoned for road rage killing dies in road rage killing

Gary Durham served time in prison for killing a man during a road rage altercation. On Wednesday, he was shot and killed during another traffic incident he might have instigated.
Gary Durham served time in prison for killing a man during a road rage altercation. On Wednesday, he was shot and killed during another traffic incident he might have instigated. Florida Department of Corrections

Gary Durham got out of prison four years ago after serving more than a decade for killing a man during a road rage incident.

On Wednesday, Durham, 40, was shot dead in Plant City, Fla., during another traffic confrontation that he might have instigated.

Reports indicate he was still on probation.

The widow of the man Durham killed 15 years called his death “poetic justice.”

According to WFTS in Tampa Bay, deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, who arrived at the scene about 7 a.m. Wednesday, found Durham lying in the roadway and Robert Padgett, 42, the man who shot him, performing CPR on him.

Padgett is said to be the person who called 911.

Authorities said Durham, for reasons unknown, stopped his Mazda pickup truck in front of Padgett, got out and walked back to Padgett’s Ford SUV.

During the verbal confrontation, investigators say, Padgett warned Durham before he pulled out a gun and shot him at least once. Sheriff's officials called what happened “the end result of a road rage incident.”

Dunham was found guilty for his involvement in another road rage incident on Oct. 24, 2001 in Tampa. He was sentenced to 11 and a half years in prison for manslaughter and required to attend anger management counseling for picking the deadly fight.

Durham, then 26, killed Timothy Gibbs, 48, during that argument. After the two nearly collided, Durham followed Gibbs to a nearby parking lot, where they both got out of their vehicles.

Prosecutors said Gibbs’ hands were at his side when Durham sucker punched him. Gibbs, a cancer survivor who had just become a grandfather, fell and hit his head on the pavement. He lay in the hospital brain dead for several days before he died.

“I know it’s not the Christian thing to say, but this is poetic justice,” Timothy Gibbs’ widow, Nancy, told WFLA in Tampa on Wednesday.

She pointed out the ironic circumstances of Durham’s death to The Tampa Bay Times, telling the newspaper “it’s a shame he didn’t learn his lesson while in jail. I’m just glad I don't have to worry about him or running into him somewhere.”

A sheriff’s office spokesperson said Padgett will not be arrested and that he is cooperating with the investigation, which deputies said could take weeks.

“He was trying to do the right thing and make sure the individual would survive,” Col. Donna Lusczynski of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Officials said they will consider whether this was a case of self-defense or “Stand Your Ground,” the right to protect and defend oneself against a threat or perceived threat.

Dunham had also served prison time for grand theft and aggravated assault, local media reported.

“Just because he went to jail, that did not define who he was,” his wife, Heather Durham, told the Times.

“He wasn’t this angry person who went around angry all the time. People only see the side that the media spreads. They don’t know him like I did or his family did.”

Lusczynski reminded motorists not to “engage with people, it’s not worth it over some sort of traffic related incident, or you’re five minutes late to work or school. Just drive by and ignore the person and don't get into some type of confrontation, it's not worth anybody's life.”