Man accused of firing ‘warning shot’ after another driver flipped him off

Ernesto Molinary-Garcia, 35, is accused of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (APD Photo)

TRAVIS COUNTY, TX (KXAN) — A man was shot at after he said he flipped off another driver on a highway in Travis County, Texas, deputies say. Meanwhile, that suspect driver told them he believed he was allowed to fire a “warning shot.”

The victim was driving east on Farm to Market Road 2244 (Bee Caves Road) just before 5 p.m. on Jan. 4 when he got into the left hand turn lane onto Capital of Texas Highway, according to an arrest affidavit. A red car driving next to him turned left in front of him and almost hit him, so the victim “gave the driver the ‘finger’ and sped away onto the on-ramp.”

The other car followed on his right side, and then the victim saw the driver — who deputies later identified as 35-year-old Ernesto Molinary-Garcia — pull out a gun, according to the affidavit. The victim “heard a pop sound and felt something hit his vehicle as he ducked. He quickly drove away, stating he felt fear for his life.” He called 911 as the other car followed him, but managed to pull off into a shopping area.

Deputies followed the suspect car and saw one of the occupants throw marijuana out the window. They eventually pulled the car over and questioned the three people inside. Molinary-Garcia told officials he had two handguns in the car, and they searched it to find both. He admitted to shooting his .40 caliber Glock 23 in the direction of the other car, according to the affidavit.

“Ernesto [Molinary-Garcia] stated that he did so because he was under the belief that he was allowed, as a Licensed Handgun Carrier, to shoot a ‘warning shot,’” the affidavit stated. “Ernesto claimed that [the victim] was purposefully merging into his lane while on the on-ramp after the near-collision incident.”

Molinary-Garcia faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which is a second-degree felony. Records show he bonded out of jail. Bond was set at $60,000.

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