HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A father accused in a road rage murder said he felt threatened and acted to protect his family.
Traevin Straughter, 25, stands nearly 6 feet tall and weighs 300 pounds. His mother wonders if his imposing size caused a road rage confrontation to spiral into murder.
"I don't condone anything, but my family has to be safe," Bridget Straughter said.
She told KHOU 11 News her son was driving home with pizza for his family Tuesday night. He claims a pick-up truck tried to run him off the road. That truck's driver then followed Slaughter to his north Harris County home.
There, witnesses saw the pick-up stop in the middle of Valarno. Its engine revved. Meanwhile, Travein parked in his driveway and told his uncle to go inside for his gun, according to court records.
Once armed, Straughter said he walked to the end of his driveway. The other driver accelerated. His pick-up rolled near Straughter's driveway. The driver made some kind of gesture, and then shots rang out.
"It goes to show this world is going crazy," said a neighbor named Barry.
Straughter opened fire using all of his bullets. Investigators found at least 16 shell casings. The truck's driver, 38, died. Straughter told his mother he felt threatened.
"He said I was scared because, you know, the baby was in the house," Bridget Straughter said. "He didn't know. (If) somebody pulls in front of your house, you don't know what's going to happen if you have a child in the house. He has a1-year-old child in the house and my mom. My momma is 60-something years old. So, who's to say what (the other driver) is (about) to do?"
Detectives said Straughter dumped his gun in a bayou then called 911.
In court Wednesday afternoon, a judge heard enough to keep him in jail on $50,000 bond.
Authorities have not yet identified the victim.