LEHI — Police arrested a Salt Lake man accused of shooting two people during a road rage incident on the I-15 freeway Monday.
Jesse David Luker, 31, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of five counts of aggravated assault, discharging a firearm from a vehicle and reckless endangerment.
Two pickup trucks, one white and one black, started swerving at each other about 7:35 a.m. Monday while traveling south on I-15 near Lehi, according to the Utah Highway Patrol. What started the altercation was still being investigated Tuesday.
Five men were in the white pickup driven by George Ruiz-Acosta while Luker was the lone occupant of the black truck, according to a police affidavit.
“There was a road rage incident between both vehicles,” the affidavit states. “Both vehicles engaged in swerving at each other while traveling” south on I-15.
Luker told police the white vehicle “became more aggressive” as it continued driving.
“Luker advised that the white truck was swerving hard toward him, at which point he shot four bullets at the white truck. Luker advised that he was aiming for the tires on the truck,” according to the affidavit.
After Luker said the white truck moved to the right side of I-15 and appeared to again swerve at him, he “shot a second group of bullets at the white truck, between three and four bullets,” the affidavit says.
“Luker was shooting his firearm while driving approximately 70 mph, out of his front passenger window, aiming at the tires of the white truck, but hitting the driver and left rear passenger,” a Utah Highway Patrol trooper wrote in the affidavit. “At the time of day the rounds were fired, there was also moderate to heavy passenger traffic and vehicles traveling on I-15.”
Luker stated that as he attempted to exit the freeway in Lehi, the white truck hit the rear right side of his truck, causing Luker to crash into the concrete barrier, the affidavit states.
The white truck continued driving to American Fork Hospital. Troopers originally reported that Ruiz-Acosta was admitted in critical condition after being shot and a passenger who was also shot had minor injuries.
UHP Lt. Nick Street said Tuesday, however, that after doctors had a chance to look at each victim, Ruiz-Acosta was actually not as severely injured as originally thought, and the passenger was more seriously injured and had to be admitted to the hospital to undergo surgery.
While it was unclear Tuesday how the incident started, Street said neither side chose to disengage from the road rage incident, but rather escalated the disagreement until two people were shot.
Street said investigators will look at the entire scenario before turning their case over to the Utah County Attorney’s Office for potential criminal charges. He said that includes looking at potential charges for the driver of the white truck.