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Family Traces Road Rage Incident To Time In Iraq

A Vancouver man accused of firing a pistol in a road rage incident this week is being held on $150,000 bail and an outstanding warrant Thursday. Family members of the assailant say he’s mentally ill, as a result of time spent in Iraq.

It’s the second time in as many months that tensions on Portland-area highways have erupted into gun violence. Rob Manning reports.

Before firing a pistol at a car on SR 500, 25-year-old Christopher Partridge threatened another car on Highway 26 near Hillsboro. When Partridge fired his gun in Vancouver, it was apparently in retaliation for being cut off in traffic.

Vancouver police spokeswoman, Kim Capp, says he’s lucky no one was hurt.

Kim Capp: “So, this is definitely something that’s not very common, and certainly, everybody involved – the two victims in the car are very fortunate that they weren’t injured, or worse, with this type of escalation of violence, because of some inadvertent driving.”

Partridge was arrested without incident at his home. Police say he’s admitted to both threatening the driver in Hillsboro, and firing at the car in Vancouver. Partridge has a one-week-old child.

Meantime, Partridge’s parents have told news reporters that their son is a veteran of the war in Iraq, and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Calls made by OPB to military officials to verify that claim were not returned in time for this story.  But  police spokeswoman Kim Capp says Partridge’s mental state would not have changed how the officers responded.

Kim Capp: “I mean we have to arrest people for crimes, regardless of any extenuating circumstances, if we have the evidence that we need to have probable cause to arrest someone for a crime, regardless of whatever circumstances may be there, we have to do that.”

It’s the second time this summer, that a metro-area freeway has been the site of gunfire.

Last month, a 29-year-old man was hospitalized after he was shot from a nearby car while driving on Highway 26 in Portland. Police say they caught the man responsible for that shooting a few days after the August 11th incident.

27-year-old gang member, Kim Kershaw is facing multiple charges in Multnomah County.

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